Home Features Everything you need to know about the new Level 5 restrictions

Everything you need to know about the new Level 5 restrictions

Ireland will enter into Level 5 from midnight Wednesday in a bid to tackle the growing COVID cases


On Monday evening, Taoiseach Micheál Martin addressed the nation about the next move in tackling the growing number of coronavirus cases in Ireland.

From Wednesday 21st of October at midnight, the country will be entering into Level 5 COVID-19 restrictions for six weeks, leading us up to December 1.

There has been some amendments to the governments restrictions, with some people still unsure what exactly the guidelines mean.

Here is everything you need to know about the new nationwide Level 5 restrictions:

5km Travel Restrictions

Red Stop Sign Pexels

People are being asked to stay at home, and are only allowed to travel within 5 kilometres of their homes for exercise, with some exceptions:

  • Essential work
  • Compassionate grounds*
  • To attend a wedding
  • To attend a funeral
  • To visit a grave
  • To care for the elderly or vulnerable
  • For medical appointments
  • To collect medication
  • For farming purposes
  • Childcare/ taking children to school

*If you are struggling with your mental health this falls under the compassionate grounds category.

Cafés, Restaurants, Pubs and Hotels

Person Holding Paper Bag and Face Mask

As of Wednesday, cafés and restaurants will be open for take away ONLY.

Hotels, guesthouses and B&Bs may remain open, but only to support the provision of essential services.

Wet pubs in Dublin remain closed, and are only open for take away or delivery only in other counties.

Social Visits, Weddings and Funerals

Light blue one use medical protective masks

Visits to other households and gardens are banned.

However, a support bubble concept has been introduced for those who live alone – allowing them to join a “bubble” with one other nominated household.

While indoor or outdoor events are prohibited, it is also possible to meet one other household in an outdoor environment within your 5km – such as a park.


Up to 25 people are allowed to attend a wedding and up to 25 mourners can attend a funeral with the new restrictions.


Black Plastic Hangers

Only essential retail shops are permitted to stay open with the Level 5 restrictions.

Essential retail includes:

  • Food stores/supermarkets
  • Pharmacies
  • Service stations
  • Laundries and dry cleaners
  • Banks, post offices and credit unions
  • Outlets selling safety supplies and hardware stores

Schools and Higher Education

Interior of Abandoned Building

Schools will remain open during Level 5, as will early learning and childcare services.

Children will also be allowed to to play sport and train in pods of up to 15 outdoors.

For higher education, classes will be primarily online with exemptions for essential onsite activities.

Public Transport

Photo Tram at Street

Public transport will operate at 25% capacity for the purposes of allowing those providing essential services to get to work.

School transport will be unaffected.

Face coverings must be worn by those who continue to take public transport.

The restrictions recommend walking or cycling where possible rather than taking public transport.

Sports and Gyms

White and Black Soccer Ball on Side of Green Grass Field during Daytime

No training or matches should take place, with the following exceptions:

  • non-contact training can continue for school aged children, outdoors in pods of 15
  • professional, elite sports and inter-county Gaelic games, horse-racing and greyhound racing are permitted to continue behind closed doors

All other training activities should be individual only.

No exercise or dance classes are permitted, and gyms/leisure centres/swimming pools will be closed.

Religious Services and Other

Holy Bible on Stand

Religious services will only be available online.

Museums, galleries and other cultural attractions will remain closed, with online services available for libraries.

Outdoor playgrounds, play areas and parks will remain open with protective measures.

Wage Support

Person Holding Black Ceramic Container

For those who are out of work due to the pandemic, the Pandemic Unemployment Payment will provide those who earned more than €400 a week before losing their job with a payment of €350 a week.

The Wage Subsidy Scheme is also being enhanced and there will be five bands now instead of two which will pay employers more to keep staff on.

If you are struggling, support and help is available at the following helplines and emails: