Public health measures in place until 18 May
Published: 1 May 2020
From: Department of Health and Department of the Taoiseach
Public health measures in place until 18 May; Everyone is urged to stay in their home wherever possible until Monday 18 May. Staying at home is the best way to minimise the risk of COVID-19 to your friends, families and communities.
These measures were initially in place until 12 April but they have been extended as they are making a huge difference in reducing the spread of COVID-19. Staying in means staying in control of this outbreak.
The changes to the public health guidelines that will come into place next Tuesday 5 May are:
- people will be able to go up to 5 kilometres from their home to exercise
- those who are cocooning can leave their homes for exercise or a drive as long as they avoid all contact with other people
There are exceptions for some workers in key businesses but for the majority of people, the rule is simple: Stay at home.
This is the best way to minimise the risk of COVID-19 to your friends, families and communities.
You can buy food and attend medical appointments and even get out for some exercise but you are being asked to stay in your home as much as possible.
You cannot arrange a gathering with anybody you do not live with.
Measures called ‘cocooning’ have been put in place for those over 70 years of age and those who are extremely medically vulnerable to COVID-19. This is where they stay inside and isolate as much as possible.
Stay at home in all circumstances, except in the following situations:
- to travel to and from work where the work is considered an essential service. The full list of essential services is available here
- working in an essential shop, bank or post office. The full list of essential shops, post offices and banks is available here
- to buy food, medicines and other health products for yourself, your family or someone who is vulnerable or ‘cocooning’
- to attend medical appointments
- for vital family reasons including caring for children, elderly or vulnerable people but excluding social family visits
- to exercise within 2 kilometres of your house. You cannot exercise with people from outside your household. From Tuesday 5 May, you will be able to go up to 5 kilometres from your home to exercise
- everyone who can work from home must work from home. This includes essential workers and workers in essential government, utilities or other functions
- the full list of essential services is available here
- the full list of essential shops, banks and post offices is available here
- adult community education centres and local community centres are closed
- all essential services should ensure safe working conditions are in place
- specific advice will be available from the Health and Safety Authority
- all non-essential surgery, health procedures and other non-essential health services are postponed
- all visits to hospitals, residential healthcare centres, other residential settings or prisons are stopped with specific exemptions on compassionate grounds
- pharmacists are to be allowed by law to dispense medicines outside the dates spelled out in prescriptions according to their own professional judgement
Travel restrictions will be implemented as follows:
- there will be a nationwide restriction on travel outside of 2 kilometres from your home, except for the restrictions listed above. From Tuesday 5 May, you will be able to go up to 5 kilometres from your home to exercise
- public transport and passenger travel will be restricted to those who are buying food or medicines, carers, going to medical appointments and essential workers
- travel to Ireland’s offshore islands is limited only to residents of those islands
- local authorities will relax on-street parking laws to meet the travel needs of essential workers
- the arrival of personal non-national maritime leisure vessels is banned (except to exceptions as ‘port in a storm’)
The measures above will be reflected in the regulations to be made under the Health (Preservation and Protection and Other Emergency Measures in the Public Interest) Act 2000 and will be enforced by the Garda Síochána.