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New measures come into effect from Monday the 8th of June

Stay local

Controlling the spread of COVID-19 remains a priority for the Irish Government. Given the regional differences in instances of new cases of the virus, everyone is urged to stay local during this phase.

During Phase 2 you are allowed to travel within your own county or 20 kilometress from your home if you are crossing county boundaries to visit local venues or amenities such as parks, shops, allotments and so on, that have reopened as part of the government’s roadmap.

People who are extremely medically vulnerable and people over 70 need to be especially vigilant to protect themselves as they are at the highest risk of severe illness from COVID-19.

If you are cocooning, you should continue to follow the public health advice to stay at home as much as possible and to avoid physical contact with other people.

Meetings with other people should be outdoors where possible. If you go out, you may meet people in groups of up to 6. It is essential that you practice social distancing by staying 2 metres (6 feet) apart and avoid all physical contact. These measures are to protect you and your friends and family.

During this phase you will also be able to have people over to your house or visit them in theirs. It is advised that you have no more than 6 people visit you in your home and that visits should last for less than an hour.

It is recommended that you meet with the same group of people where possible to protect yourself from the virus. It is recommended that people visiting you or who you are visiting wear face coverings during visits.

If you are cocooning, you should visit shops and other retail outlets at designated times and stay at 2 metres (6 feet) distance from other people when outdoors at all times. Guidance for those who are cocooning is available here.

You are asked to keep a daily log of people you meet for contact tracing purposes.

The only reasons you can leave your locality

Stay local in all circumstances, except in the following situations:

  • to travel to and from work, if your work cannot be carried out from home
  • to shop for essential food and household goods
  • to attend medical appointments and collect medicines
  • for vital family reasons, such as providing care to children, elderly or vulnerable people – but excluding social family visits
  • to escape domestic violence

Social visits

Groups of up to 6 people who are not from the same household can meet outdoors. This can include a family meeting an individual friend or neighbour, a group of individuals meeting outdoors, and three couples meeting outdoors.

Up to 6 people who are not from the same household may also visit another household indoors. These visits should be kept as short as possible and last no more than an hour.

Indoor visits should be in well ventilated rooms where possible and everyone should practice good hand hygiene by washing their hands or using hand sanitiser.

Social distancing should be maintained with all people keeping 2 metres apart.

Meetings should be within the county or 20 kilometres from the households of those involved, if it involves crossing county boundaries.

You are advised to limit the number of people you meet with. The more contact you have – the greater you risk getting and spreading the virus.

You are also asked to keep a daily log of people you meet for contact tracing purposes.

Funeral services

From 8 June, up to 25 people may attend a funeral and burial or cremation ceremony while observing social distancing rules.

Funerals have the potential to be higher risk occasions because of the expression of grief and the desire of mourners to give comfort to each other. In light of the sad occasion and all of the circumstances associated with a funeral service, it is recommended that mourners make a special effort to comply with strict social distancing guidance, especially maintaining 2 metres physical distance, hand and cough etiquette, as well as the wearing of face coverings.

Funeral Directors and officiators are asked to remind and encourage mourners to comply with public health guidance for the safety of all attending a funeral.

Any indoor events after a funeral must comply with the public health guidance applicable to indoor visits, that is limited to a maximum of 6 persons indoors.

Further advice and guidance on funeral services is available from the HSE here.

Cultural, social and sport measures

Outdoor public amenities and tourism sites such as parks, beaches, mountain walks, heritage and cultural sites are now open.

Public libraries will now be allowed to reopen with limited numbers and hand hygiene facilities on entry.

Social distancing measures must be implemented at all of these sites.

Groups of up to 15 people who are not from the same household can meet outdoors for organised activities such as sporting or other events.

People may practice sport or fitness activities in groups of up to 15 but they must practice social distancing, minimise contact, not share equipment and practice strict hygiene.

Activities involving children should involve no more than 12 children to allow for 3 supervisors to be present to oversee the activity and make sure that public health guidance is being followed.

While training of sports teams is allowed, the holding of matches is not.

Adults and children should keep to the same groups for these activities. This will help limit contacts should a member of the group become COVID-19 positive. A log should be kept of everyone involved in these activities for contact tracing purposes.

You should not travel beyond your county or 20 kilometres from where you live if crossing county boundaries to visit any of the above facilities.

Designated high performance training facilities may be reopened exclusively for use by designated elite athletes, where those facilities and athletes have been designated by the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport and or Sport Ireland.

Education and childcare measures

From 8 June there will be a phased full reopening of school buildings and facilities to allow preparations take place for the delivery of educational programmes and activities including the return of formal education.

Plans to provide in in-home supports by Special Needs Assistants, as well as respite supports, for vulnerable children with complex disability support needs will also be rolled out by the HSE and the Department of Education and Skills.

Children’s playgrounds in public parks and other public locations can be reopened under the supervision of Local Authorities. Regular cleaning and good hand hygiene should be carried out at these sites.

Other outdoor amenities for children such as zoos, pet farms, animal parks and activity parks can also reopen with limits on entry numbers and regular cleaning practices in place.

Long term residential care measures

A phased introduction of visiting in nursing homes and residential care facilities in line with social distancing guidelines will start from 15 June.

Contact your nursing home or residential care facility for details ahead of making any visits.

You should not visit a nursing home or residential care facility if you have any symptoms of COVID-19 infection or are feeling unwell. You should not visit if you have been told you are COVID-19 contact.

Workers

Know the symptoms of COVID-19. Stay at home and don’t go to work if you have them.

If you have been in contact with a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19 you should stay at home and not go to work.

Anyone who can work from home should continue to do so.

A phased return to work for outdoor workers began in Phase 1. During Phase 2 there will be a phased return to work for solitary workers and other workers who, due to nature of their work, can maintain a constant distance of 2 metres from other people.

Employers are advised to apply the Return to Work Safely Protocol. This has been designed to support employers and workers to put measures in place that will prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace. Employers should also have a COVID-19 Response Plan in place.

Employers should put measures in place to reduce the number of workers interacting with each other onsite at work at any one time. These could include having a smaller number of workers return initially, shift work, and staggered hours.

Workplaces should be adequately prepared for the return of workers. Public health advice to limit the spread of COVID-19 (hand hygiene, good respiratory etiquette, social distancing, wearing of face coverings) should be communicated to all staff. Cleaning schedules, waste disposal arrangements, arrangements to encourage social distancing between workers and alternative arrangements where social distancing is not always possible should be implemented.

Employers are advised to proactively engage with official authorities as they reopen and to consult with public health authorities on ways to minimise the risk of a COVID-19 outbreak in the workplace.

Retail, personal and commercial activities

Know the symptoms of COVID-19. Stay at home and don’t go to shopping if you have them.

All remaining retail outlets, other than contact personal services (e.g. hairdressers, barbers, beauty salons, piercing services etc.) are now allowed to reopen. All must implement social distancing arrangements in their premises to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission. All must also apply the Return to Work Safely Protocol.

Retailers are asked to designate specific shopping times for over 70s and medically vulnerable people.

Retailers must put measures in place in their stores to minimise the spread of infection among customers and staff.

These could include:

  • protective screens and barriers
  • operating new queueing approaches
  • limiting the number of customers and staff per store at any one time
  • providing cleaning stations
  • increasing store cleaning and hygiene
  • considering store layout to facilitate social distancing
  • closing changing room facilities
  • controlling the number of individuals that staff and customers interact with at any one time
  • introducing frequent cleaning of customer touchpoints and providing hand sanitiser at entrance and exit points
  • limiting customer handling of stock, for example, through different display methods, new signage or rotation of high-touch stock
  • storing items that have been returned or handled extensively (footwear) in a separate room for 72 hours before displaying them on the shop floor
  • removing seating areas (with exception of those for people with mobility/disability requirements)
  • extending opening hours to reduce crowding
  • implementing car park restrictions

Stores should be adequately prepared for the return of employees and customers. Public health advice to limit the spread of COVID-19 (hand hygiene, good respiratory etiquette, social distancing, wearing of face coverings) should be communicated to all staff. Cleaning schedules, waste disposal arrangements, arrangements to encourage social distancing between workers and alternative arrangements where social distancing is not always possible should be implemented.

Retailers are advised to proactively engage with official authorities as they reopen and to consult with public health authorities on ways to minimise the risk of a COVID-19 outbreak in their stores.

Health services

  • all non-essential surgery, health procedures and other non-essential health services are postponed
  • all visits to hospitals, residential healthcare centres, other residential settings or prisons are stopped with specific exemptions on compassionate grounds
  • pharmacists are allowed by law to dispense medicines outside the dates spelled out in prescriptions according to their own professional judgement

Transport and travel

Everyone is advised to stay local, that is within their county or 20 kilometres from home if crossing county boundaries, as much as possible. All non-essential travel, including travel overseas, should be avoided.

Anyone arriving to Ireland from overseas must complete a COVID-19 Passenger Locator Form. Further information and guidance is available here.

Travel restrictions are implemented as follows:

  • there is a nationwide restriction on travel outside of your county or 20 kilometres from your home if crossing county boundaries, except for the reasons listed above
  • travel to Ireland’s offshore islands is limited to residents of those islands
  • local authorities have relaxed on-street parking laws to meet the travel needs of workers
  • the arrival of personal non-national maritime leisure vessels is banned (with exceptions as ‘port in a storm’)

The measures above are reflected in the regulations under the Health (Preservation and Protection and Other Emergency Measures in the Public Interest) Act 2020 and will be enforced by the Garda Síochána.

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