The plan, which comes into effect at midnight, aims to provide a flexible framework for reducing infection risk over the next six months. It details five risk levels with the lowest corresponding to minimal restrictions and level five equating to a return to full lockdown. Currently the country as a whole is at level two, meaning that most parts of the economy and society — such as schools, restaurants, pubs and gyms — are open.
“It shows how we can limit the impact of the virus, while keeping our schools open, protecting and expanding employment, reopening services and supporting social and cultural activity,” said Micheál Martin at a press conference introducing the plan.
But there is extra concern about a surge in cases in the capital. “Current COVID numbers in Dublin are very worrying,” said Martin. Here the government has brought in extra restrictions, including preventing meetings between people from more than two households; keeping pubs that don’t serve food closed and limiting travel outside the region.
Deputy Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said pubs in the rest of the country will reopen as planned on September 21 and that up to 200 people will be allowed to attend events in outdoor venues with a minimum capacity of 5000.