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24.02.2021

Government extends Level 5 restrictions until April 5th

Level 5 restrictions-lockdown

By Fiona Kelleher

The Irish Government yesterday announced the extension of Level 5 restrictions nationally until April 5th.

Below, we look at how this extension will impact employers.

Key employer takeaways

The main points for employers include:

  • Work from home should continue where possible.
  • Phased reopening of schools to begin on Monday, March 1st.
  • ECCE childcare scheme to resume on Monday, March 8th.
  • The current 5km limit will remain in place.

Income and business supports, such as the Employment Wage Support Scheme (EWSS) and the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP), will also continue until the end of June.

Revised plan

The Government has also published a revised COVID-19 management plan: ‘COVID-19 Resilience and Recovery 2021: The Path Ahead’.

The plan outlines a cautious approach to reopening, beginning with childcare and schools. It then focuses on progressing the vaccination programme to lay the foundations for the full recovery of social life, public services, and the economy.

The next review of the plan will look at the easing of certain restrictions after April 5th, such as:

  • Outdoor activities and meetings beyond one other household.
  • Extending the current 5km limit.
  • Easing of other areas of restriction with a focus on outdoor activities, e.g., sport and construction.

Impact on HR

Some of the pressure working parents face should be eased by the phased reopening of schools and childcare services. Predictable working patterns should return, benefitting both businesses and employees.

While the vaccine rollout progresses, restrictions will continue to impact trade until at least April. March therefore could represent an opportunity to communicate your business’s COVID-19 vaccine policy to your staff and to address any vaccine concerns they might have.

Need our help?

For advice regarding the extended Level 5 restrictions, speak to an expert now on 01 886 0350 or request a callback here.

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