Ireland is moving to level 5 restrictions from 24 December

Due to the rise in COVID-19 infections, the Government has moved Ireland to level 5 restrictions from midnight on 24 December 2020 until 12 January 2021. Some transitional arrangements apply over Christmas and there are some specific adjustments to level 5 restrictions.

A double rate of the COVID Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS) will be paid for two weeks to businesses that are forced to close as a direct result of Government restrictions on 26 December and commercial rates relief will apply for affected areas during the first 3 months of 2021.

The current restrictions on travel from Britain to Ireland will stay in place until at least 31 December. You can read more about level 5 restrictions on gov.ie.

Transitional arrangements for Christmas

From 3pm on 24 December (Christmas Eve):

  • Restaurants and pubs operating as restaurants will close
  • Hotels may provide food and bar services to guests only after that point

Up to and including 26 December (Saint Stephen’s Day):

  • Visits from up to 2 other households will be permitted

Up to and including 31 December (New Year’s Eve):

  • Visits from one other household will be permitted

Travel outside your county is allowed up to and including 26 December (Saint Stephen’s Day). After 26 December, people who are away from home can return to their place of residence.

From 1 January 2021 no visitors are allowed in private homes/gardens (except for essential family reasons such as providing care to children, elderly or vulnerable people, or as part of a support bubble).

Weddings, funerals and religious services

Christmas religious services may take place, but will move online after 25 December when places of worship may remain open for private prayer

Up to and including 2 January 2021 weddings can have up to 25 guests and from 3 January, weddings can have up to 6 guests. At level 5, up to 10 mourners can attend funerals.

Specific adjustments to Level 5

  • Non-essential retail can stay open. The retail sector has been requested to defer sales in January.
  • Gyms, leisure centres and swimming pools can remain open for individual training only
  • Hotels may only open for essential non-social and non-tourist purposes except for guests who already have a booking and are due to check in up to and including 26 December
  • You must remain within your county (as opposed to within 5km of your home) apart from travel for work, education or other essential purposes
  • Non-contact training in pods of up to 15 may take place outdoors
  • No matches/events should take place except for professional and elite sports and horse racing and greyhound racing behind closed doors