Authorities in Ireland will tighten the nation's coronavirus disease (COVID-19)-related restrictions from Oct. 22 due to an increase in infection rates. Under the new directive, the following restrictions will be in place through at least Dec. 1:
- Individuals must remain within 5 km (3.1 miles) of their homes, except for work or essential purposes such as seeking healthcare and attending to family emergencies. Working from home is required whenever possible.
- Visits to private homes are suspended. Extended households will be permitted to support those at risk of social isolation or who have mental health issues.
- Family gatherings except for funerals and weddings with a limit of 25 people are suspended.
- Individuals are allowed to meet with members of other households in outdoor spaces that are not part of a home or garden, such as parks.
- Organized indoor and outdoor events are suspended
- Public transport capacity is limited to 25 percent; residents are advised to use public transport only for essential purposes.
- Restaurants and cafes, as well as pubs and bars that serve food, are allowed to remain open only for carryout and delivery.
- Only essential retail and service businesses will remain open.
- Religious services will be performed online.
- Persons over the age of 70 are advised to remain home as much as possible and to limit their social interactions.
Authorities will also introduce changes to the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) to provide up to EUR 400 (USD 470) for unemployed persons. Authorities also indicated that employers whose staffing has dropped by more than 30 percent due to COVID-19 are eligible to get a flat-rate subsidy to retain employees, based on the number of qualifying employees on the company's payroll
Authorities in Ireland have also updated the country's COVID-19-related entry restrictions list. As of Oct. 16, no travelers are exempt from self-isolating upon arrival. All incoming travelers, including Irish citizens, must self-quarantine for 14 days upon entry. All travelers must also fill out a passenger locator form indicating the address where they will be staying. Freight transport workers, maritime employees, and aircraft pilots are exempt from these measures. Irish citizens are advised to refrain from nonessential travel abroad. Authorities review and update the list on a weekly basis.
Authorities could reimpose, extend, further ease, or otherwise amend any restrictions with little-to-no notice depending on disease activity over the coming weeks.
Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Reconfirm all travel arrangements. Consider delaying traveling if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays. Liaise with trusted contacts for further updates and guidance. Maintain contact with your diplomatic representation. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions. Reconsider and reconfirm nonemergency health appointments.
Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.