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Ireland lockdown: Full list of new Level 5 COVID-19 restrictions, including schools, Leaving Cert and construction changes

Dublin Live logo Dublin Live 06/01/2021 Mark O'Brien

Ireland is going back into a full lockdown with the Government confirming a number of new restrictions under Level 5 of the Plan for Living with COVID.

The new measures were confirmed by Taoiseach Micheal Martin this afternoon and include the closure of schools and construction sites until the end of January with some exceptions.

There will also be changes to retail and international travel in an attempt to "reduce the level of mobility and congregation" in order to prevent further transmission of the deadly bug, which is running rampant across the nation.

With thousands set to temporarily lose their jobs, there has also been changes made to the Pandemic Unemployment Payment, with the full €350 payment being extended until March 31.

Here's a rundown of all of the changes that have been confirmed this afternoon:

Schools

Schools remain closed until February 1, except for the provision of special education (special schools and special classes) and specialised settings (such as Oberstown and high support special care schools and youth encounter projects) which will continue fully open from 11th January.

All 6th year Leaving Certificate students will attend school for three days a week commencing from week beginning January 11.

Youthreach services will resume as scheduled.

School transport will be available for all students attending school.

Teachers, SNAs and other school staff will be allowed to travel to school as essential workers.

School buildings will be open to allow for staff to facilitate distance learning.

Guidance services and supports will continue to be available to students and can be made available in the manner deemed appropriate by the school.

Childcare

Childcare services, including regulated childminders, will remain closed with the exception of services for vulnerable children and children of essential workers.

Other existing childcare arrangements can continue to operate for vulnerable children and children of essential workers only.

In addition, a household of an essential worker, without an existing childcare arrangement, can form a bubble with another household for the purpose of providing childcare.

Construction

Construction will close from 6pm Friday 8th January, with limited exceptions including:

  • Essential health and related projects including those relevant to preventing, limiting, minimising or slowing the spread of Covid-19.
  • Social housing projects, including voids, designated as essential sites by Local Authorities based on set criteria.
  • Housing adaptation grants where the homeowner is agreeable to adaptions being undertaken in their home.
  • Repair, maintenance and construction of critical transport and utility infrastructure.
  • Education facilities sites designated as essential by Department of Education.
  • Supply and delivery of essential or emergency maintenance and repair services to businesses and places of residence (including electrical, gas, plumbing, glazing and roofing services) on an emergency call-out basis.
  • Certain large construction projects in the exporting / FDI sector based on set criteria.

Retail

Click and collect from non-essential retail outlets should no longer be permitted with immediate effect although existing orders may be collected. Click and deliver will continue to be permitted.

International Travel

The Government has agreed that the current travel moratorium in place for travel from Great Britain and South Africa is extended until midnight Friday, January 8.

From January 9, all passengers arriving at Irish airports and ports whose journey originates in Great Britain or South Africa will be requested to have evidence of a negative result from a PCR Covid-19 test taken up to 72 hours prior to arrival in Ireland.

This new mandatory requirement will be in place until January 31 and will be kept under review in light of the evolving epidemiological situation.

Supports including PUP

Payments available under both the Employment Wage Support Scheme (EWSS) and the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) will be maintained at current levels.

Under the EWSS, which provides a subsidy to qualifying employers to offset payroll costs, a payment of up to €350 per week will continue to be available.

This enhanced payment level, which had been scheduled to fall from February 1, will remain in place until March 31.

Similarly, the PUP, available to those who have lost their jobs, including the self-employed, as a result of COVID-19, will continue to be made available at the current pay-related level of up to €350 a week until March 31.

This payment level had been scheduled to fall from February 1.

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