Covid-19 restrictions

  • Mayo Leisure Point, Mayo Movie World and Hogs Heaven Bar in Castlebar all closed their doors last night, as level 3 Covid restrictions came into effect.

    55 staff have been let go from the Castlebar business as a result, while the Castle Leisure Club will remain open, with strict regulations in place.

    The cinema and bowling alley complex will celebrate its 27th year in business next month.

    Owner Cora Mulroy says she does not see how closing their business - which was complying with all public health guidelines - will have any significant impact in tackling the coronavirus.

  • An Achill publican does not believe it will be feasible for many pubs in rural Ireland to reopen in June, under proposals being put forward by representatives of the pub trade.

    The Vintners Federation of Ireland and the Licensed Vintners Association are meeting with Government officials this week to push for pubs to be allowed to reopen at the end of June, in line with restaurants and cafés, rather than in August as is currently planned.

    The vintners groups have proposed limiting capacity in pubs to allow for social distancing, operating a table service only and banning live music and DJs.

    However Alan Gielty, Chairman of the Mayo branch of the Vintners Federation of Ireland, says the proposals are not feasible for many pubs, as limiting capacity and hiring extra staff would put further pressure on revenues.

    Mr Gielty, who runs Gielty's Clew Bay Bar & Restaurant in Dooagh, Achill, says the last thing he wants is for pubs to reopen, and have to close again if there's a further wave of coronavirus.

    He says protecting public health is the top priority, and pubs should not open until it's safe to do so.

  • Ireland's four Archbishops have called for a meeting with the Taoiseach, to discuss allowing people to return to Mass, under level 3 Covid restrictions.

    Religious services have moved online under the current restrictions.

    In a letter to the Taoiseach, the Archbishop of Tuam Michael Neary,  Archbishop of Armagh Eamon Martin, Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin and Archbishop of Cashel and Emly Kieran O'Reilly have expressed concern about the impact the restrictions are having on the church.

    They say while they fully support the guidance of the public health authorities, they wish to "engage constructively with the civil authorities" to ensure that people can continue to gather for mass and the sacraments.

    The Archbishops have requested a meeting with Micheál Martin in the coming days.

    The issue was also raised in the Seanad yesterday by Galway-based Senator Ronán Mullen, who claimed the level 3 restrictions were unfairly harsh on religious services.

  • The Cabinet has agreed to move the entire country to Level 3 restrictions from midnight tomorrow night.

    This marks the first time the Government has rejected significant public health advice from NPHET.

    The National Public Health Emergency Team had recommended that the country move to Level 5 restrictions, but this has been rejected by the Cabinet.

    The restrictions will be reviewed in three weeks time.

    Wet pubs outside Dublin are set to remain open under level 3, but no indoor seating permitted in pubs.

    Instead, there will be a maximum of 15 customers allowed outdoors.

     

     

     

  • A Cabinet meeting gets underway at 4pm to sign-off on tighter restrictions to slow the spread of Covid-19.

    An official announcement is expected later this evening or tonight.

    It's expected that schools will stay open, but most non-essential retail will close under the new restrictions.

    This will mean hairdressers, barbers, beauticians, gyms, swimming pools and non-essential retail outlets closing, possibly for up to 4 weeks.

    Some Ministers have suggested there needs to be a lead-in period of a number of days for the new restrictions, to allow businesses to make plans.

    This might mean the new restrictions not coming into force until the middle of the week.

    Travel limits are also being discussed, with people potentially being limited to going no further than 5 or 10 kilometres from their homes, while pubs and restaurants will be limited to a takeaway service only .

    Limiting the hours off-licences can open is also under consideration.

    However, schools and construction sites will remain open, while the GAA championship and elite sport are set to continue.

  • The Cabinet Covid-19 subcommittee meets today to consider introducing graduated fines to enforce Covid-19 restrictions.

    The National Public Health Emergency Team wrote to Government last night to say they remain deeply concerned about the rising number of Covid-19 cases.

    It has concerns, but did not recommend further restrictions following a meeting yesterday.

    Meanwhile,  the Health Minister says he did not leak the information about NPHET asking for level five restrictions to be introduced last weekend.

    Minister Stephen Donnelly was questioned in the Dáil last night, after it emerged he knew public health officials were considering upping restrictions  - long before some of his Government colleagues.

    The Minister informed the Taoiseach of a potential move to level four before NPHET met on Sunday.

    But Stephen Donnelly insists no one had mentioned the possibility of level five:

  • Castlebar Celtic are reminding the general public that due to HSE guidelines and Covid-19 restrictions Celtic Park is closed.

    The club have installed CCTV and it is operational in all parts of the grounds.

    Any groups or individuals found gaining access to the facility notably their grass pitch will be asked to leave and/or Gardaí will be notified.

  • The Chief Medical Officer has given his strongest indication yet that Covid-19 restrictions won't be lifted, as planned, next Tuesday.

    The National Public Health Emergency Team is due to advise Government tomorrow about whether any measures can be eased.

    However, the Chief Medical Officer gave the strongest hint yet at his daily press briefing last night that he won't be recommending any easing of the measures.

    Dr. Tony Holohan said as things stand, he wouldn't be advising anything be lifted next week.

    It comes as 31 more deaths were reported from Covid-19, with over 20,000 confirmed cases across the country - including 478 cases now in Mayo, 351 in Galway, 148 in Roscommon and 116 in Sligo.

     

  • The Chief Medical Officer is currently meeting with the coalition party leaders to discuss escalating nationwide COVID restrictions.

    The National Public Health Emergency Team has recommended moving the entire country to Level 5 - the highest level of restrictions possible.

    Dr Tony Holohan is making his case to the coalition party leaders, and the advice may then be considered by the cabinet sub-committee and the Covid steering group of officials before being put to a full cabinet meeting later.

  • The Tánaiste says the current restrictions on movement may well be extended beyond Easter Sunday.

    The cabinet sub-committee is meeting today to discuss the impact of the rules that were put in place last Friday evening.

    They're due to end on April 12th, but Minister Simon Coveney says they may well go on beyond that.

  • The Football Association of Ireland have pushed back their AGM until September.

    Irish football's governing body say they've "rescheduled in line with COVID-19 restrictions" and say the move will allow time for auditors Grant Thornton to prepare accounts.

    The F-A-I has sought further financial assistance from the government to ensure their "continued viability".

    The association's board chairman Roy Barrett has also informed council members that an EGM will be held in the "near future" to make changes to their rule book and constitution.

  • The GAA have clarified a number of issues after the Government’s decision that no spectators should attend sporting fixtures.

    Croke Park have said that no more than 40 persons per team is allowed at a game -  which includes players and all the backroom team.

    As games must be played "behind closed doors", and pending further clarification from Government, the GAA says no more than 40 persons per team should be allowed access to games for the moment. This figure should include all players, management, coaches, ancillary backroom personnel and team officials. 

    “The 80 team personnel (40 per team) is in addition to essential match day personnel such as Match officials (Referees, Linesmen, Umpires), Media and event officials (stewards etc.)

    The GAA also says that, while they await further clarification on the issue of parents attending juvenile games, they're suggesting that one parent or guardian may attend a game where they consider it necessary for the welfare of their own child.

     

  • The Government is to announce new restrictions on hospitality and travel this afternoon.

    It comes amid a concerning rise in the number of new cases of Covid-19 and the new strain of the virus in the UK.

    From early afternoon on Christmas eve much of the hospitality sector will close including pubs and restaurants.

    Hairdressers, barbers, beauticians, cinemas and galleries will close as well - but gyms and non-essential retail will be allowed to stay open with tighter restrictions on how many people are allowed in-store.

    From midnight on St Stephen's Day inter-county travel will be banned, although people will be able to return home from wherever they are after that date.

    The ban on travel from the UK will be extended until at least December 31st.

    Household visits will also be phased down over the next two weeks.

     

     

  • The Government looks set to reject NPHET's recommendation that the country be moved  level five restrictions.

    Instead, it's understood every county will be placed on level three from midnight.

    There will also be proper monitoring and enforcement of those restrictions.

    The Cabinet is set to approve the measures at a meeting at 5.30pm.

     

     

  • The Government is denying any divisions with the National Public Health Emergency Team over coronavirus restrictions.

    A phased roadmap has been devised to slowly ease us out of lockdown, with some media reports over the weekend saying the Government and the National Public Health Emergency Team are divided over what should happen.

    But the Government's denied this is the case and has published a letter from the Chief Medical Officer showing Tony Holohan made the recommendations that have been implemented today.

    A spokesperson for the Tanaiste says both sides have an excellent working relationship.

     

  • Coalition party leaders will meet today for talks on lifting level 5 restriction.

    Yesterday evening, one further death was confirmed from Covid-19 with 318 addititional cases.

    Dublin, Cork and Limerick saw the highest numbers of new cases, though the national infection rate has continued to fall.

    There were 9 new cases in Galway, 7 in Mayo and less than 5 in each of counties Roscommon, Sligo and Leitrim.

    However, Roscommon's 14-day rate of the infection is still considerably higher than the national average, following a number of recent outbreaks in the county.

    The national 14-day rate of the virus is now at 109 per 100,000 people , while in Roscommon it's 164.

    Mayo, Leitrim, Sligo and Galway all have rates under 80 per 100,000 people.

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    All elite sporting events will be forced behind closed doors from midnight.

    It's after the government decided to enforce level 3 restrictions across the whole country.

    The inter-county season will still resume later this month, but the GAA haven't ruled out teams having to forfeit games due to COVID outbreaks.

    However, club GAA matches - at all age grades - have been shelved until further notice.

  • Ireland is moving to Level Five restrictions from Christmas Eve with some exemptions.

    Restaurants, pubs, hairdressers, beauticians, cinemas and galleries will all have to close from 3pm on Christmas Eve.

    Non-essential retail is allowed to stay open but January sales events must be deferred.

    Inter-county travel restrictions will come back into place after midnight on St Stephen's Day.

    There will be an exception for people returning home after that date.

    Household visits will be reduced to one other household from the 27th of December - then reduced to one until the 31st.

    However, household visits will be banned from January 1st.

    Additional supports for businesses that will have to close will be provided.

    Weddings will be allowed to go ahead with 25 people up to and including January 1st and will then reduce to 6.

    Taoiseach Micheal Martin says the daily growth rate in confirmed cases looks set to reach 10 per cent and we need to take urgent action.

  • Bus Eireann is advising that, under the level 5 restrictions from tomorrow night, Bus Eireann and Expressway services will only operate at a 25% capacity.

    Under Government advice, all travel should be limited within a 5km radius, unless travel is essential for work, education and other essential purposes.

    Only one seat out of every four can be used on buses, and these are being reserved for essential workers.

    Bus Eireann says passengers should not use buses if they're experiencing any symptoms of the virus, and public transport should not be used to travel to or from a Covid-19 testing centre.

    Irish Rail is also reminding the public that all rail travel is for essential workers and essential purposes only.

     

  • Publicans are warning that the move to level three restrictions will see 50,000 job losses in the sector.

    Only outdoor sittings of 15 people will be allowed as part of the measures.

    No indoor service being allowed will mean many pubs across Mayo and the West will not be able to operate.

    The wet pubs were only allowed to reopen two weeks ago after a 6-month closure.

    Padraig Cribben from the Vintners Federation says that while Level 3 restrictions refer to pubs remaining open, the reality is that the majority will close as outdoor service limited to 15 customers is not viable for many pubs: