Dublin workers face tighter restrictions

Employees in Dublin face enhanced work-related restrictions now that the Government has put the capital on phase three of its new framework for living with Covid-19.

The framework, Resilience and recovery 2020-2021: Plan for living with Covid-19, sets out what is permitted at each of five levels of response.

Launching the new six-month plan earlier this week, the Government said the country was at phase two. But it has since placed the capital on phase three from midnight tonight (18th September) – with some additional restrictions.

Under phase three of the framework, which gives specific guidance in a number of areas, employees must “work from home unless [it’s] absolutely necessary to attend in person.” This compares to a softer exhortation to work at home “if possible” under phases one and two.

Phase three also carries tougher restrictions on travel, saying that people should not leave the county, and that public transport will be reserved for essential workers and essential purposes.

Face masks remain mandatory on public transport in all phases, while capacity restrictions remain at 50% in phases one, two and three. The framework advises everyone to walk or cycle if possible.

Phase three also sees tighter restrictions on indoor and outdoor gatherings, sports and leisure activities – including the closure of indoor museums, galleries and cultural facilities. Libraries would be restricted to e-services and ‘call and collect’ regimes.

There are additional restrictions on restaurants and pubs, which will put further pressure on Dublin jobs.

The new measures will be in place for at least three weeks.

The framework prioritises keeping schools, early learning and childcare services open, with protective measures in place. Only under phase five does it envisage further restrictions in schools, and these would be determined by “the precise situation and evidence at the time.”

Aside from work and transport, the areas of specific guidance in the framework include social and family gatherings, organised indoor and outdoor, gatherings, retail, exercise and sport, religious services, museums and galleries, bars and restaurants, hotels, outdoor playground and those aged over 70 or medically vulnerable.

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