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Dublin Lockdown Updates: Dublin to move into Level 3 restrictions tonight
Keep up to date on the Government’s announcement on new Covid-19 restrictions on Independent.ie’s live blog.
Pubs are being treated as political scapegoats, says alcohol drinks manufacturer’s group
Alcohol drinks manufacturer’s group Drinks Ireland has said that the decision to “essentially close” Dublin’s hospitality sector is “ineffective, disproportionate and unfair”
“The hospitality sector should have been allowed to stay open in Dublin, or in the case of wet pubs reopen in a safe and sustainable manner. The Government must stop unfairly targeting an entire industry that is already on its knees, treating the sector as a political scapegoat,” said Patricia Callan, Director of Drinks Ireland.
She said that this will impact drinks suppliers.
“This closure impacts not only pubs, but also drinks suppliers. Beer and cider in particular cannot be kept in storage for lengthy periods as both will go off. For Dublin’s wet pubs, this is now the fourth time new product has been brewed and delivered in kegs to Dublin pubs, to then not be used.
“For the pubs that serve food that are going to close, it will mean a huge amount of product will no longer be used and will have to be collected, which is a very costly process.”
She added that countries across Europe can manage hotspots with “targeted measures”.
“Across Europe, the hospitality sector has reopened with restrictions, including in countries with a higher Covid-19 incidence rate. We see that these countries are managing hotspots with targeted measures that do not mean a total closure of a vital sector and economic diver.”
Tánaiste clarifies that while there are no social or family gatherings allowed outside of your home or garden, people are allowed to meet one other household in settings like these – for example, a friend in a park for a coffee.
Maynooth University limits classes to a max of 30 people due to its ‘close proximity to Dublin’
Maynooth University will limit its classes and tutorials to 30 people due to its “proximity to Dublin”.
“The University is limiting on-site teaching to laboratory, practical and skills instruction, and will limit classes and tutorials to up to 30 persons. Larger lectures will be taught online,” said a statement from MU this evening.
“The key aim of the University is to protect our students, staff and in the wider community, from the spread of Covid-19.
“We look forward to holding Welcome Week for First Years on 21 September, with the bulk of the week’s activities held online. The University will re-open for all students on 28 September, in accordance with our new protective measures,” it added.
Between 750 and 1,000 cases of community transmission in last two weeks
“The overarching objective of what wee trying to do in Level 3 is to cut down our social interactions,” said Dr Glynn.
“In the last two weeks, there has been between 750 and 1,000 cases of community transmission.
“All of the efforts in Level 3 are to reduce this congregation.
“The reality is we need to stop this getting into households,” the Acting CMO added.
Acting CMO: we could see upwards of 1,000 cases if we do not interrupt transmission
Acting CMO Ronan Glynn said at this evening’s press conference on the latest restricitons: “This evening, 80 people are in hospital in Ireland with Covid. This compares to just 20 people a month ago.
“The R number is estimated to be between 1.3 and 1.7.
“If we do not interrupt transmission now we are concerned that we would have upwards of 1,000 case a day, at least half which would be in Dublin by October,” he said.
“I’m asking you to take action now. Prioritise who you need to see.
“As a rule of thumb, plan to see half the number of people this week than you did last week,” he added.
Tánaiste: This is getting serious again
Speaking at a post-Cabinet meeting press conference, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said: “This is getting serious again.
“If it is not nipped in the bud, more people will get sick.
“It’s not all bad and there is hope.
“If we compare with our neighbours we are all doing relatively well.”
Those laid off today or tomorrow are legible for the WSS or PUP, added the Tánaiste.
“Today we are releasing an additional €30m business start up grant,” he said.
An additional €5m will be allocated for tourism, culture and sport administered by Culture Minister Catherine Martin.
An Tánaiste added that the Government will look at commercial rates and VAT in the budget.
“The virus doesn’t live in restaurants or hotels or office blocks or pubs or restaurants.
“We need to get back to basics,” he added, saying that people should keep their distance and keep washing hands.
Taoiseach’s address on the Six One – a summary of restrictions due valid from midnight tonight in the capital
• Visitors to private homes, including gardens, will be permitted from one other household only, and involve up to a maximum of 6 people.
• No organised indoor gatherings should take place, and outdoor gatherings should have a maximum of 15 people.
• Restaurants and cafes, including pubs serving food, will close to indoor dining but can remain open for takeaway and delivery. They can also remain open for outdoor dining for a maximum of 15 people. As already announced, wet bars will remain closed.
• Visits to long term residential care facilities are suspended, with the exception of critical and compassionate circumstances.
• Those living in Dublin are advised to stay within the county, unless they need to travel for work, education and other essential purposes.
• Similarly, people outside of Dublin are advised not to travel into the county except for work, education and other essential purposes.
• Sports training activities can continue, but only for non-contact sports in the outdoors and in pods of up to 15. There is an exception to this for professional and elite athletes, inter county sports and senior club championship.
• Indoor training should be confined to individuals only and no classes should take place.
• No social or family gatherings should take place other than weddings and funerals, but the number of people at both should be restricted to 25 from Monday. Weddings due to take place this weekend may go ahead under level 2 restrictions and people are reminded to follow public health guidelines.
‘We need to act now and act decisively’ – Taoiseach
Taoiseach Micheal Martin: “We are in a very urgent situation. We need to act now and act decisively.
“We need to act now for the common purpose and the common good.
“We owe it to the memory of all those taken by the virus.
“We did it before, with Laois, Offaly and Kildare and we can do it again.
“This too will pass,” the Taoiseach added.
Dublin to go into lockdown from midnight tonight
Taoiseach Martin: “From midnight tonight and on the advice of Nphet, Dublin city and county will move to Level 3 for three weeks.
“Visitors to private homes, including gardens, will be permitted from one other household only to a maximum of six people. No organised indoor events should take place and outdoor gatherings should have a maximum of 15 people.
“Restaurants and cafés including pubs serving food, will close to indoor dining but can remain open for takeaway and delivery but will remain open for outdoor dining for a maximum of 15 people.
“Visits to residential long term care facilities will remain suspended with the exception of critical and compassionate circumstances.
“Those living within the county, stay in the county unless for work or education and other essential purposes.
“People outside of Dublin are advised not to travel into the county except for work, education and other essential purposes.”
Sports training activities can continue, but only for not contact sports in outdoor venues, with exceptions for professional and elite championships.
Only weddings and funerals can go ahead with a maximum of 25 attendees. Wedding due to take place this weekend can o ahead with 50 people.
Every decision we make and every restriction we introduce we do so to protect the most vulnerable – Taoiseach makes announcement
Taoiseach Micheal Martin speaking on the Six One News:
“Despite people’s best efforts in the past few weeks, we are in a very dangerous place.
“Without further urgent and decisive action, there is a real threat that Dublin could return to the worst days of this crisis.
“I understand how frustrated people are and how much we all want to put this pandemic behind us.”
“Those [this virus] doesn’t kill, it leaves severely injured.
“I know that the additional restrictions needed for Dublin will leave many people angry.
“Every decision we make and every restriction we introduce we do so to protect the most vulnerable,” the Taoiseach said.
Dubliners will not be able to leave the county for domestic or overseas travel
Hugh O’Connell reports
PEOPLE in Dublin will not be able to leave the county for either domestic or overseas travel for the next three weeks under Level 3 restrictions for the capital being announced by the Government.
This means people living in Dublin will not be allowed fly out of Dublin Airport to destinations on the revised Green List unless for essential reasons.
The restrictions on leaving the county will apply for all travel, domestic and foreign, Cabinet sources have confirmed.
The stringent rules comes after it Indepedent.ie revealed earlier that tourists arriving in Dublin Airport will be free to travel to their destinations in other counties while the Capital is in lockdown.
People will only be allowed to travel in and out of Dublin for essential work, education and/or care needs, the Government will advise.
A Government source added that people residing in other counties across the country that are not under Level 3 restrictions will be able to travel to Dublin Airport to fly out of the country if they wish to do so.
Cabinet sources said that restrictions on domestic travel will be a “regulation without sanction”.
The Government is also announcing a 30pc top-up to the business restart grants for companies in Dublin. The grants currently range from between €4,000 and €25,000 meaning the maximum grant will rise to €32,500 for businesses in the capital that apply.
Applications from businesses for various other Covid loan schemes will also be prioritised ahead of those from outside Dublin. It is estimated that the restart grant top-up will cost the exchequer around €30m.
16.34 Weddings of 50 allowed in Dublin until Monday
Weddings in Dublin will still be allowed 50 guests until Monday under plans being discussed by the Cabinet.
All other restrictions in the capital including a ban on indoor dining in pubs and restaurants will apply from midnight, according to a memo being discussed by ministers.
The number of guests allowed at wedding will be reduced to 25 from Monday.
16.23 Colleges move most classes online and suspend on-campus activities
Dublin colleges are to carry out most teaching online and suspend all on-campus club activities as the capital looks set to go into lockdown this weekend.
All universities have agreed set measures in response to the impending lockdown with tens of thousands of students having limited access to college campuses.
Some on-campus elements of orientation will still go ahead for first year students but will be on a staggered basis to reduce numbers.
Libraries will remain open but will be subjected to social distancing protocols and entry-registration.
While all colleges will open, on-campus provisions will be minimised with priority given to teaching and learning that can only take place on-site.
This will include teaching and research in laboratories, practical tuition and workshops.
At the request of the Government, social and club activities on campus will be suspended until further notice.
A spokesperson for the Irish Universities Association (IUA) said: “The universities will ensure that all necessary health protection measures are in place and that there will be clear communication to students and staff in this regard.
“This is underpinned by national guidance for the further and higher education sectors and by more detailed implementation guidelines developed by public health experts.
“Outside of Dublin, all other universities are continuing with their plans to re-open and to welcome students onto campus based on their blended learning approach for the coming semester.”
The IUA is also collaborating with other sectoral stakeholders and with the Department of Further, Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science to develop a Covid-19 response Plan to deal with any incidence of Covid-19 that may occur.
Some of the colleges affected include TCD, UCD, DCU, DIT, the RCSI and NCAD.
What will happen in Dublin now?
The National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) has recommended Dublin moves to Level Three to help contain the spread of Covid-19 virus.
The decision to move the Capital from Level Two to Level Three will drastically impact life for those in the county. The Level Three lockdown is set to remain in place for three weeks.
Nphet’s new recommendations to increase restrictions in Dublin were reviewed by the newly established Covid-19 oversight group chaired by the Department of the Taoiseach secretary general Martin Fraser.
Under Level Three rules, parishioners will be unable to attend Mass or other religious services, gyms will remain open, but there will be no spinning or group classes, travelling outside or into the county must stop, except for essential reasons. People will be asked to work from home, and the number of guests at a wedding would have to reduce from 50 to 25.
Last night the prospect of closing indoor dining was being considered in Government. The move would be a hammer blow to the hospitality sector in the capital which is already struggling due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Meanwhile, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said Dublin pubs could be open “in a couple of weeks’ time”, if the opening of rural establishment goes according to plan.
“That will, hopefully, allow pubs in Dublin to follow suit in a couple of weeks’ time,” Mr Varadkar said.
So-called “wet” pubs in Dublin had also been due to reopen on Monday after six months – until Tuesday’s announcement that this would not be allowed in view of the Covid contamination levels in the capital.
Mr Varadkar is the first member of Government to offer a possible timeframe for Dublin pubs reopening with his mention of “a couple of weeks” of further closure.
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