Taoiseach Michael Martin has confirmed level 3 restrictions will be introduced nationwide from midnight on Wednesday
THE Taoiseach Micheál Martin has confirmed the introduction of Level 3 restrictions in Limerick and across the country from tomorrow night.
The decision to tighten restrictions was made shortly before 8pm tonight following a special meeting of the Cabinet.
The National Public Health Emergency Team had recommended that Level 5 restrictions be introduced in response to the recent surge in cases.
However, the Government has decided not to accept that recommendation.
In a brief televised address, Mr Martin said there has been an exponential increase in the rate of cases of Covid-19 and that the recent trend in most parts of the country is a major concern.
However, he said the country is in a "very different situation" now compared to March and that the response from Government must be different.
"An immediate comprehensive lockdown would make it harder to deal with non-Covid concerns," he said adding: "If we all act now, we can stop the need to go further by implementing level 4 and level 5 restrictions."
The restrictions announced tonight mean visitors from only one other household (maximum of 6 people) will be allowed to visit private homes or gardens for the next three weeks at least.
Social gatherings will not be permitted in other settings and people should not travel outside of their county.
Organised outdoor gatherings are restricted to 15 people and indoor events are not permitted.
Up to 25 people can attend funerals and weddings while all other religious ceremonies are required to move online only. Churches and places of worship can remain open for private prayer.
Indoor dining and drinking will not be permitted and so called wet pubs will only be allowed to serve 15 customers outdoors or to provide a takeaway service.
Non-essential retailers will be allowed to remain open but customers are being reminded that they must wear face coverings and obey social distancing rules.
While non-contact training can continue for sport at all levels, only elite-level matches are permitted to take place.
The Government will review the restrictions in three weeks time - following the October Bank Holiday weekend.