Tighter restrictions under level three

Workers across the Republic of Ireland face tighter restrictions on work and travel from midnight tonight (Tuesday 6th October) after the Government moved the entire country to level three of its framework for living with Covid-19.

According to official guidelines, level three means staff should “work from home unless [it’s] absolutely necessary to attend in person.” This goes beyond the level two advice to “work at home if possible,” which, until now, had been in place in all counties except Dublin and Donegal.

Schools and childcare facilities remain open and staff working in these settings should continue to follow Department of Education and Skills guidance regarding work attendance and safety measures.

The guidance is set out in the Government’s framework, Resilience and recovery 2020-2021: Plan for living with Covid-19, which outlines what’s permitted at each of five levels of response.

It is endorsed in official Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (DPER) advice to civil and public service managers, which was brought in line with the national framework last month.

Tighter restrictions on travel also kick in at midnight tonight. Phase three restrictions say that people should not travel beyond their county boundary unless it’s absolutely essential. And public transport is 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.

Meanwhile, Fórsa has called on its members to redouble their efforts to contain the spread of the virus by following HSE hygiene advice, and by self-isolating and seeking medical advice if they show symptoms of the disease. You can read comprehensive HSE advice on all aspects of the virus HERE.

Last week, the acting chief medical officer yesterday called on Dublin employers to do more to promote remote working as part of the response to the rising number of cases in the capital.

Answering questions at the Oireachtas special committee on the Covid-19 response, Dr Ronan Glynn said: “Look at the amount of traffic on the roads. It’s hard to believe people have taken the message to heart that they should not be going to work unless it’s absolutely essential.”

Dr Glynn and his Northern Ireland counterpart also called on employers either side of the northern border to facilitate remote working to help beat the virus.

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