06/10/2020

The Cabinet decision to put the entire country on Level 3 Covid-19 restrictions is expected to be raised in the Dáil by the Opposition parties today.

The Cabinet decision to put the entire country on Level 3 Covid-19 restrictions is expected to be raised in the Dáil by the Opposition parties today.
Tánaiste Leo Varadkar last night criticised the National Public Health Emergency Team for proposing a Level 5 restriction, and how that view was relayed to Government.
Earlier, Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly told a news conference that what he termed “robust engagement” should be expected between Government and NPHET but “respect” still exists.
Mr Varadkar, however, was far more pointed speaking on RTÉ’s Claire Byrne Live when he said NPHET’s Level 5 recommendation “hadn’t been thought through and there hadn’t been prior consultation”.
Mr Varadkar also was critical of how NPHET acted, saying “landing something on a Sunday night… without prior consultation” was not the right way to do things.
He said it would not happen again.
Opposition parties are expected to seek more information about how and why the Government did not follow NPHET’s advice and what it hopes to achieve with its own Level 3 plan.
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Taoiseach Micheál Martin, in an address at Government Buildings yesterday, said central to discussions about moving to Level 5 was looking at the wider implications.
He said we are in a different situation to last March and businesses are beginning to recover and vital public health services are still backlogged.
He said more severe restrictions now would have an impact that many might not recover from.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin says Level 3 restrictions will come into effect from midnight tomorrow night, measures will be stepped up to increase compliance with Covid guidelines | https://t.co/nPM6fe3aXFpic.twitter.com/OjurgLc75C
— RTÉ News (@rtenews) October 5, 2020
A wide range of Level 3 restrictions will take effect from midnight tonight for at least three weeks. 
Under the restrictions people should remain in their own county and work from home unless absolutely necessary.
People should not travel domestically or internationally outside their own county  except for work, education or other essential purposes.
Public transport will operate at 50% capacity. However, creches, schools and colleges will remain open as part of the measures.
The limit of no more than six visitors to a home from one other household remains with no social or family gatherings.
Visits to long-term residential care facilities are suspended, aside from critical or compassionate circumstances.
The number of mourners at a funeral reduces to 25 with a similar number of guests at a wedding, but it will not be possible to attend a ceremony in another county.
Other religious services will move online. Cafes and restaurants can serve up to 15 people outdoors – and offer takeaway and delivery as can bars, except wet pubs in Dublin which remain closed.
All retail and other services can open, while only professional, elite or inter county sporting events can take place behind closed doors.
The debate over yesterday’s events surrounding the Government and NEPHET is likely to overshadow today’s regular Cabinet meeting at which Minister for Environment Eamon Ryan’s Climate Action Bill is likely to be approved. 
Additional reporting Fergal Bowers