We’re currently at Level Two.
The Government has announced details of the new medium-term plan for managing rising cases of coronavirus in Ireland, ranking the level of risk from one to five, the highest risk level demanding a full lockdown.
The new measures, announced at a press conference by An Taoiseach Micheál Martin, will come into effect from midnight tonight.
The Taoiseach confirmed that existing measures will be continued for a further three week period. The Pandemic Unemployment Payment will also remain open to new entrants until the end of the year.
The numbers allowed at sporting events will increase to 200 for outdoor stadia or other fixed outdoor venues with a minimum accredited capacity of 5,000, potentially increasing again to 500 if the country reaches the Level One risk rating.
Confusingly, despite the recent sharp spike in cases, Dublin has not been placed at Level Three on the new risk rating. Level Three rules would see museums and other indoor cultural venues closed and restaurants open for take away and outdoor dining only.
Instead, it seems the Government has opted for a 2.5 rating. NPHET may make a new recommendation on Thursday.
What does Level Two look like?
A further 208 cases of Covid-19 were reported on Monday, bringing the number of confirmed cases here to 31,192. According to the Department of Health, 62% of new coronavirus cases are in people aged under 45 years of age. A third of cases are associated with outbreaks or are close contacts of a confirmed case, while 18 of the new cases have been identified as community transmission.
Of the new cases, seven were in Cork.
The majority, 108 patients, are in Dublin, meaning the planned reopening of pubs that do not serve food, scheduled to happen on September 21st, will now be postponed in the capital.
“Until there’s an effective vaccine, and has been widely administered, we must continue to live with the reality that Covid-19 is potentially deadly, causes long term illness and we must limit its spread.” the Taoiseach said.
According to Level 2 guidelines, members of different households can continue to meet socially in other settings up to six people indoors, 15 outdoors from up to three other households.
New guidelines for testing and self-isolation
The National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) revealed they has adapted the advice and guidelines on quarantining for all ages and testing procedures for children.
The period of self-isolation for a case of #COVID19 has changed to 10 days from onset of symptoms (or 10 days from date of test if asymptomatic), the last 5 of which should be without fever.
— Department of Health (@roinnslainte) September 14, 2020
“NPHET has decided to reduce the period of isolation from 14 to ten days for confirmed cases from the onset of symptoms, based on advice received from the Expert Advisory Group following a review of the evidence,” said Acting Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn.
“In addition, it has been agreed that nasal swabs are an acceptable alternative to nasopharyngeal swab for use in children in the community. This will hopefully make testing a simpler process for children going forward.”