It’s a ‘real possibility’ that Dublin could be moved to level three of coronavirus restrictions, the Finance Minister has said.
While Dublin is currently at 'level two' of restrictions along with the rest of the country for the next three weeks, a series of extra measures will be in place for the capital due to a surge in COVID-19 cases.
'Wet pubs' will not be allowed reopen in Dublin yet, despite all pubs elsewhere in the country being able to open again from next Monday.
Social and family gatherings in the capital are also being limited to people from two households only, while people are being ‘encouraged’ not to leave the county.
COVID-19 cases in the capital have continued to rise, with 218 new cases confirmed in Dublin yesterday alone.
NPHET will meet again tomorrow and further consider the situation in the capital.
Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe told Newstalk Breakfast that the Government remains concerned about Dublin.
He said: “We are asking Dubliners to do more than is contained in the guidance for level two.
“The reason we’re doing that is because of our concern regarding the health of Dublin. If it is appropriate to fully move up to level three - which will involve a whole lot of change and whole lot of difficulty for so many - that is what we will ask the country to do.”
Minister Donohoe said it’s a “real possibility” that Dublin could face the extra restrictions.
He stressed the Government’s concerns are not just about the increase in COVID-19 cases, but also how it’s spreading from home-to-home.
He explained: “Moving to level three is a real possibility… if we get that advice through from NPHET, it’s something the Government will take very seriously.”
Level three would mean no organised indoor gatherings would take place, sports matches would be cancelled, and the likes of museums and galleries would be told to close.
Restaurants would face further restrictions, nursing home visits would be almost entirely suspended, and there would be reduced numbers allowed at funerals or weddings.
People would be told to work from home "unless absolutely necessary to attend in person".
However, schools and creches would be able to remain open - something which would remain the case in every level of restrictions.