A detailed guide to the Covid-19 restriction changes to apply from mid-April

Donegal's Covid-19 rate compares badly with European national rates

From April 12 you can travel within your county or within 20km of your home if crossing county boundaries

The following are the list of measures that will apply starting on Monday, April 12 when Covid-19 restrictions will begin to be eased.

From April 12

Schools: In-school teaching to fully return
Meeting other households: You can meet 1 other household outside but not in your garden or theirs
Travel: You can travel within your county or within 20km of your home if crossing county boundaries

Construction: All residential construction can restart as well as early learning and childcare projects

From 19 April
GAA: Training for and playing of National Governing Body sanctioned and organised adult intercounty National Gaelic Games Leagues not including under 20 or minor competitions

Elite sport: High performing athletes, as approved by Sport Ireland, can resume 

From 26 April (subject to prevailing public health situation)
Outdoor sport: Outdoor sports facilities can reopen (for example: pitches, golf courses and tennis courts, other facilities as appropriate)

Outdoor attractions: Outdoor visitor attractions can reopen (for example: zoos, open pet farms, heritage sites). Amusement parks are not permitted to open.

Underage sport: Underage non-contact outdoor training and dancing in pods of 15 or fewer can restart

Funerals: Maximum attendance at funerals will increase to 25

Under consideration from 4 May (subject to prevailing public health situation)

  • Full reopening of construction activity
  • Phased return of non-essential retail commencing with click and collect and outdoor retail, for example: garden centres/nurseries
  • Recommencement of personal services on a staggered basis
  • Reopening of museums, galleries and libraries
  • Recommencement of religious services on a staggered basis

SECTOR BY SECTOR UPDATE

Schools and higher and adult education
12 April 2021 onwards (post Easter Holidays): In-school teaching to fully return.

Higher, further and adult education should remain primarily online.

Construction
Construction is closed, with the following exceptions:
essential health and related projects including those relevant to preventing, limiting, minimising or slowing the spread of COVID-19 social housing projects, including voids, designated as essential sites by Local Authorities based on set criteria
housing adaptation grants where the homeowner is agreeable to adaptions being undertaken in their home
repair, maintenance and construction of critical transport and utility infrastructure
education facilities sites designated as essential by Department of Education
supply and delivery of essential or emergency maintenance and repair services to businesses and places of residence (including electrical, gas, oil, plumbing, glazing and roofing services) on an emergency call-out basis
certain large construction projects in the exporting / FDI sector based on set criteria
in relation to private homes that are practically complete and scheduled for habitation by 31 January 2021, including where snagging, and essential remediation work, such as pyrite works is nearing completion, works should continue to enable homeowners access their homes. Heating, water, broadband and electricity installation should also continue to enable homes be occupied
existing tenancy protections mean that a tenant cannot be evicted from their home during the period of the 5km travel restrictions. To enable a limited functioning of the housing and residential tenancy market during this time it has also been agreed that online viewings will be the default approach to viewing property for rental or sale, with a physical viewing only permissible at the point where a tenancy agreement is being entered into or where a contract for sale has been drawn up. This approach balances the need to avoid social interaction with the need to provide a pathway to tenancy and home ownership for those who need it


Retail and services (for example: hairdressers, beauticians, barbers)
Face coverings must be worn.
All retail is closed except for essential retail.
All non-essential services are closed.
See the list of essential services at Level 5.
Click and collect
Click and collect from non-essential retail outlets should be discontinued with immediate effect.
Existing orders may be collected.
Click and deliver will continue to be permitted.
Government will consider the phased return of non-essential retail commencing with click and collect and outdoor retail, for example: garden centres/nurseries, from 4 May.


Social and family gatherings
In your home or garden
No visitors are permitted in private homes or gardens except for essential family reasons such as providing care to children, elderly or vulnerable people, or as part of a support bubble.
Other settings outside your home or garden
From 12 April, you may meet people from 1 other household outdoors, but not in your garden or theirs. Any meetings outdoors should be safe, with continued practising of social distancing and other safe behaviours.
Masks should be worn in crowded outdoor spaces.
Weddings
Up to 6 guests are permitted.

Organised indoor gatherings
These are controlled environments with a named event organiser, owner or manager.
For example: business, training events, conferences, events in theatres and cinemas or other arts events (excluding sport).
No organised indoor gatherings should take place.
Organised outdoor gatherings
These are controlled environments with a named event organiser, owner or manager. For example: outdoor arts events, training events.
No organised outdoor gatherings should take place.


Exercise and sporting events
Training
People may meet with people from one other household in outdoor settings when taking exercise.
Elite-level senior GAA can resume training from 19 April.
High performing athletes, as approved by Sport Ireland, can resume from 19 April.
From 26 April
Outdoor golf and tennis are permitted, subject to public health advice at the time.
Underage non-contact outdoor training in pods of 15 can recommence for all exercise activities that can be delivered outdoors including dance, subject to public health advice at the time.
Matches and events
Professional, elite sports, horse racing, greyhound racing and approved equestrian events only are permitted to continue behind closed doors.
Elite-level senior GAA matches can resume from 19 April.
No other matches or events are to take place.
Gyms, leisure centres and swimming pools
Gyms, leisure centres and swimming pools are closed.

Religious services
Services will be held online. This will be reviewed by 4 May.
Places of worship remain open for private prayer.
Attendance at funerals
The maximum attendance at funerals is currently 10. From 26 April, the maximum attendance at funerals will increase to 25, subject to public health advice.


Museums, galleries and other cultural attractions
All venues closed. This will be reviewed by 4 May.
Online services are available.

Bars, cafes and restaurants (including hotel restaurants and bars)
Take away food and delivery only.
Wet pubs
Closed.
Nightclubs, discos, casinos
Nightclubs, discos and casinos will remain closed.
Hotels and accommodation
Open only for essential non-social and non-tourist purposes.

Work
Work from home unless essential for work, which is an essential health, social care or other essential service and cannot be done from home.
Travel restrictions

Domestic
People are required to stay at home except for travel for work, education or other essential purposes, and will be permitted to take exercise within 5km of home. From 12 April, you can travel within your own county or within 20km of your home if crossing county boundaries.

You can travel outside 5km of home for the following reasons:
travel to and from work, where work involves providing an essential service
teachers, SNAs and other school staff will be allowed to travel to school to facilitate distance learning
to attend medical appointments and collect medicines and other health products
travel to attend disability day services
travel to attend a court
for vital family reasons, such as providing care to children, elderly or vulnerable people, and in particular for those who live alone, but excluding social family visits
for food shopping
for farming purposes (food production or care of animals)
to attend a wedding or funeral
to visit a grave
International
See information on travelling to Ireland during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Outdoor playgrounds, play areas and parks
Open with protective measures in place.

Transport
Face coverings must be worn.
Walk or cycle where possible.
Avoid public transport - except for essential workers and essential purposes only.
Public transport capacity will be restricted to 25%.

Over 70 and others at increased risk of severe illness
Those aged over 70 years and over and others at increased risk of severe illness should exercise judgement regarding the extent to which they engage with others and in activities outside home.
See guidance for people at increased risk of severe illness.
Guidance for other people at increased risk of severe illness
disability services guidance
older persons/long-term residential care facilities
others at increased risk of severe illness
Visiting long-term residential care facilities (nursing and care homes)
Residents may be facilitated to receive 2 visits per week on general compassionate grounds. This will be possible following two weeks after full vaccination of approximately 8 out of 10 of all residents and healthcare workers in the nursing home.
There is no requirement to limit visits to less than one hour.
See the new guidance on visits to Long Term Residential Care Facilities (LTRCFs), which came into effect from 22 March 2021.

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