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16.09.2020

Five-level plan for living with COVID-19 announced

By Fiona Kelleher

The ‘Resilience and Recovery 2020-2021: Plan for Living with COVID-19’ has been announced by the Government.

The plan outlines five Levels put in place to manage living with COVID-19 over the next six to nine months. The Government hopes it will help the country “…move on from a short-term emergency response approach to a medium-term approach to managing risk and repairing the damage that COVID-19 has inflicted on society.”

The new plan may affect your business in several ways.

Framework for Restrictive Measures

The focal point of the plan is a ‘Framework for Restrictive Measures’. This consists of five Levels that will be applied to each county based on the incidence of COVID-19 in that county.

Furthermore, it’s intended to provide clarity on what restrictive measures are necessary around the affected county. These restrictions will be based on the COVID-19 situation in a specific area and time.

The five Levels

The framework is made up of alert Levels (from 1 to 5). Level 1 is the lowest and has the least amount of restrictive measures, and Level 5 is the highest and has the most restrictions in place.

Levels are applied to each county based on the prevailing COVID-19 situation in the affected county.

Level 1

Level 1 is the least severe. Businesses that can remain open once they adhere to protective measures include:

  • Gyms
  • Bars
  • Cafes and restaurants
  • Retail and services, e.g. hairdressers
  • Cultural attractions

Capacity restrictions will apply to indoor and outdoor gatherings. Working from home is also recommended, while face coverings should be worn on public transport.

Level 2

Under Level 2, the following can remain open once done so in accordance with protective measures:

  • Schools
  • Gyms
  • Bars
  • Cafes and restaurants
  • Cultural attractions

Sporting events can also remain open, while household gatherings are now limited to six people indoors and 15 outdoors.

‘Wet pubs’ in Dublin will also remain closed come September 21st. However, ‘wet pubs’ outside of Dublin can reopen.

Level 3

Level 3 will bring tighter restrictions. For instance, restaurants can stay open but only for takeaway and outdoor dining, while bars and cultural attractions will have to close.

Schools and creches can remain open once protective measures are in place. Gyms too can remain open but for individual training only. There will be no indoor gatherings allowed apart from one visitor from a separate household. Outdoor gatherings will remain at 15 people.

Working from home where possible should continue, while public transport will be at 50% capacity.

Level 4

On Level 4, all businesses except for essential businesses and services will close. The number one priority will be to keep schools and childcare services open while keeping people safe.

There will be no indoor and social gatherings allowed, while outdoor seating only, limited to 15 people, will apply for both restaurants and ‘wet pubs’.

Level 5

Level 5 restrictions will look a lot like those we witnessed at the beginning of the pandemic. The public will be advised to stay at home and only exercise within five kilometres of their home. All businesses apart from those deemed essential will close, and no gatherings will be allowed.

Takeaways from restaurants and ‘wet pubs’ will be allowed.

How your business may be impacted

Government advice remains that, where possible, people should continue to work from home. Existing protective measures around social distancing and face coverings in retail and services also continue to apply.

As a business owner, it’s your responsibility to stay up to date with the alert Level in your county and carefully follow the guidelines outlined for that Level.

Need our help?

If you would like further complimentary advice on the ‘Living with COVID-19’ plan from an expert, our advisors are ready to take your call. Call us on 01 886 0350 or request a callback here.

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