March-style Level 5: January's nationwide restrictions in full

The tightened restrictions will remain in place until at least January 31st. Photo: PA.
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Sarah Mooney

From midnight on December 30th, the Republic returned to “full” Level 5 restrictions nationwide.

Non-essential retailers, gyms and leisure centres previously permitted to remain open under Covid-19 restrictions must now shut from close of business on December 31st.

The tightened restrictions will remain in place until at least January 31st — here they are in full.


At Level 5, the public health risk means that people are asked to stay at home and to exercise within 5 kilometres of their residence. There will be no gatherings other than small numbers at funerals and weddings.


  • Gatherings or visitors in a home or garden are not permitted, aside from essential family reasons such as providing care to vulnerable people.
  • Those living alone can form a support bubble with another household.
  • People may meet with people from one other household in outdoor settings when taking exercise.
  • Organised indoor gatherings such as events in theatres, cinemas, arts events, business events, training events or conferences, should not take place.
  • Organised outdoor gatherings such as outdoor arts events and training events should also not take place.

Religious services

  • Religious services must remain online, while places of worship can remain open for private prayer.
  • For weddings, up to 6 guests can attend a ceremony and reception, though weddings planned up to and including January 2nd may proceed as planned with a maximum of 25 guests.
  • Funerals can be attended by up to 10 mourners.


  • Restrictions on domestic travel are in place, with people required to stay at home aside from essential purposes and permitted to exercise no further than 5 kilometres from their home.
  • People away from their place of residence on December 31st will be permitted to return to their home.
  • On public transport, face coverings must be worn, capacity will be limited to 25 per cent, and the service should be used for essential workers and purposes only.
  • People are requested to walk or cycle where possible and to avoid public transport.

Daily life

  • Working from home must take place, unless it is for working in health, social care or another essential service and cannot be done from home.
  • Early learning and childcare services will open with protective measures.
  • Schools will reopen following the Christmas break, but the date has been pushed back from January 6th to January 11th, “with further review on precise situation in advance of that date”.
  • Higher and adult education should remain primarily online.
  • Those aged over 70 and the medically vulnerable should "exercise personal judgement" regarding the extent to which they engage with others and in activities outside home.
  • Nursing and care home visits are suspended aside from “critical and compassionate circumstances.”

Businesses and services

  • Museums, galleries and other cultural attractions must all remain closed.
  • Restaurants, cafes and pubs serving food must remain closed and serve food for takeaway or delivery only.
  • Wet pubs, nightclubs, discos and casinos must remain closed.
  • Hotels, guesthouses and B&Bs may remain open for essential non-social and non-tourist purposes only. Anyone staying in a hotel on December 30th may complete their stay.
  • All retailers other than those deemed essential must shut from close of business on December 31st.
  • Personal services such as hairdressers must all remain closed.


  • No matches or training should take place, with exemptions for professional and elite sports, horse-racing, greyhound racing and approved equestrian events behind closed doors.
  • No indoor or outdoor exercise group activities, including those involving children, should take place. There will be no exercise or dance classes, and golf and tennis will not proceed.
  • Gyms, leisure centres and swimming pools must shut from close of business on December 31st.

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