New Restrictions For Businesses And Guidelines For Testing

 New Restrictions For Businesses

  • all theatres, clubs, gyms/leisure centres, hairdressers, betting shops, marts, markets, casinos, bingo halls, libraries and other similar outlets are closed
  • all hotels are limited to non-social and non-tourist occupancy
  • all sporting events are cancelled, including those behind closed doors
  • all playgrounds and holiday or caravan parks are closed
  • all organised social indoor or outdoor events of any size are not to take place, such as parties or weddings
  • all scheduled cruise ship travel to cease
  • non-essential retail outlets to close to members of the public. Essential retail outlets to implement strict physical distancing measures. Visual supports for retailers available here

 Essential retail outlets by type:

The NPHET has recommended that all non-essential retail outlets will close to members of the public and all other retail outlets are to put in place physical distancing.

To assist the public and business owners, the following is an indicative list of what are considered essential retail outlets:

  • retail and wholesale sale of food, beverages and newspapers in non-specialised and specialised stores
  • retail sale of household consumer products necessary to maintain the safety and sanitation of residences and businesses
  • pharmacies/chemists and retailers providing pharmaceuticals, pharmaceutical or dispensing services
  • opticians/optometrists
  • retail sale of medical and orthopaedic goods in specialised stores
  • fuel stations and heating fuel providers
  • retailers involved in the repair of motor vehicles, motorcycles and bicycle repair and related facilities (for example, tyre sales and repairs)
  • retail sale of essential items for the health and welfare of animals, including animal feed and medicines, animal food, pet food and animal supplies including bedding
  • laundries and drycleaners
  • banks, post offices and credit unions
  • retail sale of safety supply stores (for example, work clothes, Personal Protective Equipment)
  • hardware stores, builders’ merchants and stores that provide hardware products necessary for home and business maintenance, sanitation and farm equipment, supplies and tools essential for gardening/farming/agriculture
  • retail sale of office products and services for individuals working from home and for businesses
  • retailers providing electrical, IT and phone sales, repair and maintenance services for home

 Physical distancing continues:

 all cafes and restaurants are to operate on a take-away or delivery basis. Strict physical distancing measures apply to queuing for this service. Floor graphics (2 metre distance) for businesses are available here
  • all places of worship to restrict numbers entering at any one time to ensure adequate physical distancing
  • outdoor socialising is limited to 4 persons, unless all are from the same household. For example, a family of 5 living in the same household may still socialise outside together, or household groups such as flatmates, but not a mixed group of people from different households. Strict physical distancing measures still apply
  • all crowded places, including public amenities, should be avoided. If you see that there is a crowd, find a quiet alternative location, or turn around and go home

 Measures for public transport:

  • cleaning schedules on public transport to be increased
  • people should not use public transport unless it is absolutely necessary
  • transport companies to limit the number of passengers permitted on public transport at any one time; social distancing is paramount for passengers using public transport (2 metres distance)

 Measures for the workforce:

  • the National Public Health Emergency Team recommends significantly raising the amount of money available on cashless card transactions to protect essential staff who continue to work with the general public
  • individuals should work from home unless attendance at the workplace is absolutely essential

 In Your Household:

  • all household contacts of a suspected case (that is, a person who is awaiting a test or test result) should restrict movements until the test is reported negative or for 14 days
  • all non-essential indoor visits to other persons’ homes should be avoided

 COVID-19 Case Definition Changed:

The National Public Health Emergency Team has recommended adopting the World Health Organization case definition for COVID-19:

“A patient with fever and at least one sign of respiratory disease, for example cough, shortness of breath.”

Testing algorithms will be updated to reflect the new case definition.

 Existing measures to be maintained by all:

  • wash your hands frequently and well, cover your cough/sneeze and bin your tissues, and maintain a social distance of 2 metres between yourself and others where possible
  • individuals with symptoms should self-isolate for a period of 14 days
  • schools, creches, and higher education facilities remain closed
  • reduction of workplace contacts, and implementation of remote working practices and teleconferencing where possible. Work time and break times should be staggered
  • everyone should restrict their non-essential social contact as much as possible
  • no mass gatherings involving more than 100 people indoors and 500 people outdoors
  • members of vulnerable groups should stay in their own home as much as possible
  • restricted visitation to hospitals and long-term care facilities is to continue