Ireland is moving from a short-term emergency response approach to a medium-term approach to managing risk and repairing the damage that COVID-19 has inflicted on society.

A Framework for Restrictive Measures has been developed to help us to go about our daily lives as much as possible, while managing the behaviour of the virus.

Download Resilience and Recovery 2020-2021: Plan for Living with COVID-19 here.

The latest information, advice and guidelines issued by the Government will be published here and updated daily.

The framework consists of 5 Levels:

Click on each level for more information. The lower levels of the framework will be activated when there is low incidence of the disease, with isolated outbreaks, low community transmission. The higher levels will be used to deal with higher incidences of the disease.

Current status:

Ireland is at Level 3 as of December 1st. 

A quick guide to the Christmas changes:

Measures in place from 1 December

Social and family gatherings

In your home or garden

You should not mix with any other households outside of those within your support bubble.

Other settings outside your home or garden

In outdoor settings away from your home or garden, up to 6 people from a maximum of 2 households can meet while maintaining strict physical distancing.

Face coverings are recommended in busy or crowded areas.

Domestic Travel

Stay in your county apart from work, education, medical and other essential purposes, if appropriate.

Those aged over 70 and the medically vulnerable

Those aged over 70 and the medically vulnerable are advised to continue to exercise personal judgement.

It is recommended that they stay at home as much as possible, limit engagement to a very small network for short periods of time, while remaining physically distanced.

When taking exercise outdoors, it is important to maintain 2 metres distance from others and wash hands on returning home.

It is recommended to shop during designated hours only, while wearing a face covering, and to avoid public transport.

Long-term residential care facilities (nursing and care homes)

New HPSC guidance for nursing homes visiting that has been published on 30 November, which will come into effect from 7 December 2020

This new guidance outlines an updated definition for ‘critical and compassionate circumstances’, which now provides that, subject to risk assessment in each case, nursing homes residents may receive:

  • up to one visit by one person per week under Levels 3 and 4 of the framework
  • up to one visit by one person per two weeks under Level 5

It also notes that every practical effort should be made to accommodate an additional visit on compassionate grounds during the period of a major cultural or religious festival or celebration of particular significance to the resident, such as the Christmas/New Year period.

Face coverings

You should wear a face covering in crowded workplaces, places of worship and in busy or crowded outdoor spaces where there is significant congregation.

Know the symptoms of COVID-19:

If you have any of these symptoms, you should behave as if you have the virus and self-isolate. People in your household will need to restrict their movements. You may also need to be tested for COVID-19. Getting tested for COVID-19 is free. If you're confused about the differences between symptoms of COVID-19, the cold and flu, the HSE has more information.

Get the most up to date, official information:

Family Carers Ireland has produced an Emergency Care Scheme in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Please click here to find out more.

For a guide to Covid-19 social welfare supports for family carers including a list of FAQs, please click here.

For guidance on cocooning to protect people over 70 years and those extremely medically vulnerable from Covid-19, please click here. Note advice for family carers (section 10).

For guidance on reducing the risk of Covid-19 infection for Older People and Others at Risk of Severe Diseases, please click here.

Also, Guidance for Health and Social Care Workers who visit homes can be found here. Please note that while this is not aimed at family carers, a lot of the advice is very relevant.

An FAQ document for people with disabilities and family carers (prepared jointly by the HSE, Family Carers Ireland and Inclusion Ireland) can be found here.

COVID-19 Community Call Forum:

As part of the Government response to the COVID-19 crisis, your local authority (council) has established a COVID-19 Community Call Forum. Your local forum works with State agencies and community and voluntary groups to provide supports or services to any vulnerable person who needs them.

Your forum brings together different organisations to provide important services like: collection and delivery of essential items like food, ‘meals-on-wheels’,
household items, fuel or medicine (in line with guidance) support if you are experiencing social isolation or are cocooning

If you need help, if you know someone who needs help, or if you would like to offer help, please use the numbers or email for your local authority (council) as listed in this leaflet.