The Government has confirmed that Level 5 restrictions will be extended nationally until April 5th at minimum.
The Taoiseach’s announcement outlined a very cautious approach to reopening business and society. The six weeks up to Easter will focus on monitoring the impact of a phased reopening of schools and childcare services.
Impact on employers
- Work from home to 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), have also been extended until the end of June.
Revised COVID-19 management plan
The Government has also published a revised plan for managing the COVID-19 crisis.
‘COVID-19 Resilience and Recovery 2021: The Path Ahead’ outlines a cautious approach to reopening, beginning with childcare and schools. The plan 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 consider the following easing of restrictions after April 5th:
- Some easing of restrictions on outdoor activities and meetings beyond one other household.
- Possibility of extending the current 5km limit.
- Staggered easing of other areas of restriction with a focus on outdoor activities, including construction and sport.