What's New

Phase 4 of the Roadmap for reopening Ireland will be delayed

On 4 August 2020, the Government announced that the move to Phase 4 that was planned for 10 August 2020 will now be delayed for at least 3 weeks until 31 August 2020.

Additional measures announced include:

  • Pubs that do not serve food will not be able to reopen on Monday 10 August 2020
  • Restaurants will have to close at 11pm
  • Face coverings will become mandatory in shops and shopping centres from 10 August 2020
  • The current restrictions on indoor and outdoor gatherings will continue with up to 50 people allowed to gather indoors and up to 200 allowed to gather outdoors
  • 5 countries – Monaco, San Marino, Gibraltar, Malta and Cyprus – have been removed from the COVID-19 Green List of countries (also called ‘normal precautions’ listed countries) that you can travel to without having to restrict your movement for 14 days when you return home. The public health advice continues to be that that the safest thing to do is not to travel abroad.

We will update citizensinformation.ie with detailed information when it is available.

Know your rights: How to deal with scams

Question: I think I’ve been scammed, can I get my money back?

If you’ve been scammed, you have been tricked into parting with your money.

The scam can come in many forms.  You may be sold fake tickets that don’t exist. You may get a missed call from a scammer and when you phone back you could be paying a premium rate.  You could get a bogus email pretending to be from your bank, trying to trick you into sharing your personal and financial information.

If you suspect you’ve been scammed you should act immediately:

  • Stop all contact with the scammer
  • Do not send any more payments
  • If you paid by credit or debit card, tell your bank or card provider immediately
  • Report the incident to your local Garda station –scamming is a criminal matter
  • Gather any records you have about the scam (emails or other communications)
  • Protect your devices by resetting your passwords and update your anti-virus software
  • Report the incident to consumer protection agencies such as the CPCC, for advice and to help stop other people being caught in the same scam

You may be able to get your money back depending on what happened and how you paid the scammer.

You may get your money back if you:

  • Notice money has been taken from your account without your authorisation, and you contact your bank immediately.  In most circumstances, you bank must refund you for an unauthorised payment.
  • Bought something from a scammer with your debit card, credit card or PayPal. You can ask your bank or credit provider to reverse the transaction through a process known as a chargeback.

It’s unlikely you will get your money back if you:

  • Paid by bank transfer. It can be harder to get money back, but the sooner you contact your bank the better.
  • Paid by money transfer services such as MoneyGram, PayPoint or Western Union.
  • Paid by vouchers or gift card

To protect yourself in future, you should not share your personal information if you don’t know who are dealing with.  Trust your instinct and always ask yourself ‘is it safe?’ 

You can read more about how to protect yourself from scams on citizensinformation.ie.


During the COVID-19 pandemic, you can find comprehensive integrated information online at citizensinformation.ie/covid19/ and you can get daily updates on what’s changed on Twitter at @citizensinfo. You can also get information and advice from:

  • The Citizens Information Phone Service: Call 0761 07 4000, Monday to Friday, 9am – 8pm
  • Our national call back service: Visit citizensinformation.ie/callback to request a phone call from an information officer

From July, a limited number of appointments are being made in Citizens Information Centres offices where social distancing can be facilitated. You can continue to contact your local centre by email or phone using the details in Find a Centre page on citizensinformation.ie.

Know your rights: Returning to school

When schools reopen, what health and safety rules will children have to follow?

The Government plans to reopen schools at the start of the new school year – end August 2020.

Students will have to keep a physical distance from one another when they are outside the classroom, including in hallways and outdoor spaces.

Inside the classroom, students will work within designated groupings or ‘bubbles’. Schools may use PE halls and other areas as classrooms to allow for physical distancing.

Students may also do ‘blended learning’. This means that their school programme will include learning at school and online learning at home.

Students and teachers will do more hand-washing and sanitising, and they will take staggered breaks and lunch times. There will be enhanced cleaning regimes in all schools to minimise the risk of spreading COVID-19.

If your child is using school transport, they must:

  • Maintain physical distancing while waiting for the bus
  • Use hand sanitiser when boarding the bus
  • Always sit in a pre-assigned seat
  • Always sit beside the same child (either a sibling or a child from the same class group)
  • Observe respiratory etiquette at all times while waiting for and on-board the bus
  • Get off the bus one-by-one

If your child is in secondary school and using school transport, they must also wear a mask while waiting for and on-board the bus. Children with medical or special educational needs do not have to wear a face covering.

You can read the Government’s Roadmap for the full return to school for detailed guidance on returning to school.[


During the COVID-19 pandemic, you can find comprehensive integrated information online at citizensinformation.ie/covid19/ and you can get daily updates on what’s changed on Twitter at @citizensinfo. You can also get information and advice from:

  • The Citizens Information Phone Service: Call 0761 07 4000, Monday to Friday, 9am – 8pm
  • Our national call back service: Visit citizensinformation.ie/callback to request a phone call from an information officer

A limited number of appointments are being made in Citizens Information Centres offices where social distancing can be facilitated. You can continue to contact your local centre by email or phone using the details in Find a Centre page on citizensinformation.ie.

July Jobs Stimulus

The Government announced a package of supports called the July Jobs Stimulus on 23 July 2020. The key provisions of the package include:

  • The  COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment will be extended to April 2021 and closed to new applications from 17 September 2020. From 17 September 2020, there will be three rates of payment:
For people who previously earned less than €200 per week €203
For people who previously earned between €200 and €300 per week €250
For people who previously earned over €300 per week €300

You can read more about the social protection and employment support provisions in the press release from DEASP and on gov.ie.

  • A new Employment Wage Support Scheme will succeed the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme, and run until April 2021. Employers and new firms in sectors impacted by COVID-19 whose turnover has fallen 30% will get a flat-rate subsidy of up to €203 per week per employee, including seasonal staff and new employees.
  • A range of supports for business were announced. With limited exceptions, the waiver of commercial rates will be extended until the end of September and the COVID-19 Credit Guarantee Scheme will provide an 80% guarantee for a wide range of credit products from €10,000 to €1 million up to a maximum term of 6 years. Small and micro companies will be supported through additional resources for MicroFinance Ireland and the Local Enterprise Offices. This will include measures to reduce interest rates on lending for micro and small businesses, including grants equivalent to 0% interest on the first year of SBCI and MFI loans. The Future Growth Loan Scheme is being expanded.
  • The standard rate of VAT will be reduced from 23% to 21%, effective from the beginning of September for 6 months.
  • A new Stay and Spend Incentive will refund taxpayer spending on accommodation, food and non-alcoholic drinks, between October 2020 and April 2021, through a tax rebate of up to €125.
  • Enhanced levels of support will be made available under the Help to Buy scheme until December 2020.
  • An increased allowable expenditure under the Cycle to Work scheme from €1,000 to €1,500 for ebikes, and €1,250 for other bicycles will be introduced.

You can get full details of the July Jobs Stimulus on gov.ie.

Know your rights: Learner permit renewal

My learner permit is due to expire soon, what do I need to do?

You must hold a valid learner permit to learn to drive on public roads in Ireland. You must always have the learner permit with you when you are driving and adhere to certain driving restrictions.

Your first or second learner permit usually lasts for two years while a third and subsequent permit lasts for one year. You need to hold your first learner permit for at least 6 months before you take a driving test.  If you are applying for a third or subsequent permit you must show evidence that you have taken a driving test in the previous 2 years or have an appointment for a forthcoming driving test.

How do I renew my permit?

In most cases, you can renew your learner permit online if you have a Public Services Card (PSC) and a verified MyGovID account. This option is not available if:

  • You hold a bus or truck category on your licence
  • You are over 70
  • You are applying for your third or subsequent learner permit
  • You have a medical condition that requires a medical report (see the driving licence form (pdf) for a list of applicable medical conditions)

If you cannot renew your licence online, you will have to apply to a National Driver Licence Service (NDLS) office in person. 

You must bring your completed application form and the following documentation with you when renewing your driving licence:

  • Your current or most recently issued driving licence
  • The application fee of €35
  • Documentation to prove your identity
  • A Driving Licence Medical Report Form, if required
  • A Driving Licence Eyesight Report Form, if required

COVID-19 and renewing your learner permit

During the COVID-19 public health emergency, if your learner permit is due to expire between 1 March 2020 and 31 October 2020 it will automatically be renewed for 4 months. This means that if your learner permit was due to expire 1 July, your permit will expire on 1 November 2020.

You will not receive a new licence or permit during this time, but your driver record will be updated to show that your licence or learner permit is still valid.

NDLS offices reopened on a phased basis from 8 June 2020. You can find details of which NDLS offices are open on the Road Safety Authority website. NDLS offices will not operate a drop-in service. You can book an appointment to attend an office in person.

You can find out more about learner permits by visiting citizensinformation.ie. You can get the application form on the National Driver Licence Service website


During the COVID-19 pandemic, you can find comprehensive integrated information online at citizensinformation.ie/covid19/ and you can get daily updates on what’s changed on Twitter at @citizensinfo. You can also get information and advice from:

  • The Citizens Information Phone Service: Call 0761 07 4000, Monday to Friday, 9am – 8pm
  • Our national call back service: Visit citizensinformation.ie/callback to request a phone call from an information officer

From July, a limited number of appointments are being made in Citizens Information Centres offices where social distancing can be facilitated. You can continue to contact your local centre by email or phone using the details in Find a Centre page on citizensinformation.ie.

Know your rights: Shopping online refunds

I bought something online. Can I change my mind and get a refund even though it’s not faulty?

You are not automatically entitled to a refund when returning an item you bought in a shop because you have simply changed your mind. If there is nothing wrong with the item (for example, there isn’t a fault) then you have no legal right to return the goods.

The situation is different for purchases made online. When you buy online you are entering into a contract called a distance contract. With this type of contract, you do not enter the contract in person and you cannot check the products before you buy. Because of this, you have additional protections under EU law.

Your cancellation rights

Under the Consumer Rights Directive, you have 14 calendar days to change your mind without having to give a reason. This right to cancel is also known as the ‘cooling-off period’.

For products bought online, your right to cancel the order starts the moment you receive the product. You have 14 days to tell the seller you want to cancel and then a further 14 days to return the item. You may have to pay for the cost of returning the item.

Right to a refund with 14 days of cancellation

You must be refunded within 14 days of cancellation, including standard delivery costs. A seller may not process the refund until they have proof that goods have been sent back.

Does my right to cancel apply to all online purchases?

The cooling-off period does not apply to certain purchases. Examples are personalised products or leisure services such as hotel bookings, car rental or concert tickets.

The Consumer Rights Directive does not apply:

  • If you buy something online from a trader who is based outside the EU, for example you buy an item from a Chinese website
  • To consumer-to-consumer deals, that is where you buy from a private individual

Brexit and buying online from a UK business

The UK left the European Union on 31 January 2020 and is now in a transition period while the UK and EU negotiate additional arrangements.  If you are buying online from a UK trader, your consumer rights remain the same during the transition period (until 31 December 2020).

You can find out more on your consumer rights by visiting citizensinformation.ie.


During the COVID-19 pandemic, you can find comprehensive integrated information online at citizensinformation.ie/covid19/ and you can get daily updates on what’s changed on Twitter at @citizensinfo. You can also get information and advice from:

  • The Citizens Information Phone Service: Call 0761 07 4000, Monday to Friday, 9am – 8pm
  • Our national call back service: Visit citizensinformation.ie/callback to request a phone call from an information officer

From July, a limited number of appointments are being made in Citizens Information Centres offices where social distancing can be facilitated. You can continue to contact your local centre by email or phone using the details in Find a Centre page on citizensinformation.ie.

New Consumer category on citizensinformation.ie

We have launched a new category called Consumer on citizensinformation.ie. It replaces the Consumer Affairs category.

The new consumer category has detailed information about your consumer rights and how to deal with things confidently if they go wrong. We have added a new section called Common consumer problems and have new topics on:

Visit the new category to get help with how to complain and get information on the full range of consumer rights including:

You can also send us feedback which will help us continue to improve the content. 

Know your rights: National Car Test (NCT) booking

When do I need to submit my car for its NCT?

NCT services were suspended during the COVID-19 emergency. 

If your car was due for its NCT between 28 March and 30 June, your test date was extended for 4 months from the original date of the NCT. This means that if your car was due for an NCT on 1 June, your NCT is now due on 1 October 2020.

You can check the date for your NCT on the NCTS website. You can also request a reminder by email or by text message.

If your car was due for its NCT before 28 March, you can now book for a test.

Some NCT centres reopened from 8 June 2020. You can see what NCTS centres are open on the NCTS website.

If you couldn’t complete the NCT earlier this year (because of issues with car lifts) , you should continue to carry the Vehicle Inspection Report that says that your test was incomplete.



During the COVID-19 pandemic, you can find comprehensive integrated information online at citizensinformation.ie/covid19/ and you can get daily updates on what’s changed on Twitter at @citizensinfo. You can also get information and advice from:

  • The Citizens Information Phone Service: Call 0761 07 4000, Monday to Friday, 9am – 8pm
  • Our national call back service: Visit citizensinformation.ie/callback to request a phone call from an information officer

From July, a limited number of appointments are being made in Citizens Information Centres offices where social distancing can be facilitated. You can continue to contact your local centre by email or phone using the details in Find a Centre page on citizensinformation.ie.

Know your rights: Summer Education Programme for children with special needs

My child is in primary school and has special education needs. What supports are available during the summer holidays?

There is a summer education programme for children with special educational needs called Summer Provision. It is similar to the July Education Programme, sometimes called the July Provision that operated in previous years. There are 3 types of support available – in school, at home and a HSE-led programme for children with complex needs.

Your access to these programmes depends on what is available in your area and on your child’s individual needs. You can only access one of the programmes.

The school-based programme helps your child to re-engage with learning, build friendships with other children, take part in social activities and build their relationship with school. The programme runs for 2 weeks and up to 4 weeks between July and August. School transport may also be available.

A home-based programme is offered only if there is no school-based programme available for your child because or it cannot accommodate your child.  The programme funds a tutor for 10 hours per week for 4 weeks between June and 21 August.  The tutor must be a registered teacher or special needs assistant and will be employed by you.  You can get detailed guidance on the home-based programme on the Department of Education website.

Your child can qualify for the school-based or home-based programme, if he or she:

  • Has a diagnosis of autism or has severe and profound learning difficulties
  • Goes to a special school or a special class in primary school
  • Is moving into a special class in primary school from an early years setting
  • Is in a primary school mainstream class and has one of the following disabilities: Down syndrome, is deaf (or is more severely hard of hearing), is blind or has a more severe visual impairment, has a moderate general learning disability or severe emotional behavioural difficulty

The HSE-led programme is for children with complex needs. Children’s disability service managers will engage with families to identify those in most need of these supports. The programme provides short respite breaks for families and therapeutic interventions.

You can read FAQs for parents about the programme on the Department of Education’s website  


During the COVID-19 pandemic, you can find comprehensive integrated information online at citizensinformation.ie/covid19/ and you can get daily updates on what’s changed on Twitter at @citizensinfo. You can also get information and advice from:

  • The Citizens Information Phone Service: Call 0761 07 4000, Monday to Friday, 9am – 8pm
  • Our national call back service: Visit citizensinformation.ie/callback to request a phone call from an information officer

From July, a limited number of appointments are being made in Citizens Information Centres offices where social distancing can be facilitated. You can continue to contact your local centre by email or phone using the details in Find a Centre page on citizensinformation.ie.

What’s changing from 29 June?

The Government has confirmed that it is safe to move to Phase 3 of the Roadmap for Reopening Business and Society on Monday 29 June 2020.

We’ve summarised the key things you need to be aware of in Phase 3:

Face coverings  

In Phase 3, face coverings will be mandatory on all forms of public transport. You should also wear a face covering in shops and other places where social distancing is difficult.

Where can I travel?

From phase 3, you can travel anywhere in Ireland, including offshore islands. You should follow public health guidelines at all times. All non-essential overseas travel should be avoided.

Education and childcare

The following facilities may reopen from Monday 29 June:

  • Crèches, childminding facilities and pre-schools
  • Summer camps
  • Youth clubs
  • All indoor and outdoor amenities for children
  • All adult education facilities

What businesses can reopen?

From Monday 29 June, a large number of businesses and services are allowed to reopen. They include:

  • Cafes and restaurants, pubs and hotel bars serving food, hotels and holiday parks
  • Hairdressers, barbers, nail and brow salons, beauty salons, spas, make-up application services, tanning, tattooing and piercing services
  • Museums, galleries, theatres, cinemas and other cultural outlets
  • Driving schools
  • Wellbeing services, for example chiropractic, massage therapy, acupuncture, reflexology and homoeopathy
  • All remaining retail, services and commercial activities

Sport

The following facilities may reopen:

  • Indoor gyms and exercise facilities
  • Yoga, pilates and dance studios
  • Sports clubs and public swimming pools

The following sporting activities can recommence:

  • Team leagues for adults and children
  • Close contact sports
  • Organised sporting spectator events and fixtures

Social

From Monday 29 June, indoor gatherings of up to 50 people and outdoor gatherings of up to 200 people are permitted. Public health advice must be followed at all times. There are specific new guidelines for choirs and musical groups.

Religious

Religious buildings and places of worship are allowed to reopen.

Read more about Phase 3 of the Government roadmap in our document on Public health measures for COVID-19.