COVID-19 restrictions in Ireland

Introduction

Restrictions have been in place to help stop the spread of COVID-19. These restrictions have affected most aspects of life in Ireland.

Reframing the Challenge, Continuing Our Recovery and Reconnecting is the Government’s plan to end most COVID-19 restrictions by 22 October 2021.

Many people who lost their jobs or were unable to work during the pandemic are getting the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment. The scheme closed to new applicants on 8 July 2021, and the rate of payment will be gradually reduced from 7 September 2021.

Changes to restrictions from September

All changes are subject to public health advice.

From 1 September 2021:

Public transport can run at 100% capacity

From 6 September 2021:

Indoor events can take place with 60% of the venue’s maximum capacity, provided all the people attending are fully vaccinated or have recovered from COVID-19 in the past 6 months. Accompanied children under 18 do not need proof of vaccination or recovery.

This includes live entertainment, indoor conferences, live music and indoor sporting events.

Cinemas and theatres can increase their capacity to 60% if all of members of the audience are fully vaccinated or have recovered from COVID-19 (not including accompanied children). Otherwise, their capacity stays at 50 people.

Live music at weddings is allowed.

Organised outdoor events can take place with a capacity limit of 75% where people attending are fully vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19. Where not all members of the audience are fully vaccinated or recovered, a capacity limit of 50% applies. Accompanied children under 18 do not need proof of vaccination or recovery.

Religious ceremonies can take place with 50% of the place of worship’s normal capacity.

Coach tours can take place at 75% capacity.

From 20 September 2021:

Indoor group activities, like sports, art and dance classes, can take place with up to 100 people, provided everyone has been fully vaccinated or has recovered from COVID-19 in the past 6 months. Otherwise, pods of up to 6 people are allowed. The number of pods permitted depend on the size of the venue.

Outdoor group activities can take place without restrictions. This does not include attendance at organised events (for example, an outdoor concert or sports match).

In person attendance in offices and other places of work is permitted on a staggered basis.

Changes in restrictions from October

From 22 October 2021, subject to public health advice:

Vaccination or recovery certificates (for example, the EU COVID Digital Certificate) are no longer needed to go to an indoor restaurant, pub or other venue. You will still need them for international travel.

You do not have to wear a face covering, except on public transport, in shops and in hospitals and other healthcare facilities.

Restrictions on numbers that can attend events no longer apply, including:

  • Weddings
  • Indoor and outdoor events and activities
  • Religious ceremonies

Nightclubs can reopen

You should continue to self-isolate if you have symptoms of COVID-19.

Current rules for indoor dining

Indoor service in bars and restaurants reopened on 26 July 2021.

To access indoor service, you must show proof that you are fully vaccinated or have recovered from COVID-19 in the past 6 months. Children under 18 who are dining with you do not need proof of vaccination or recovery. You may be asked for proof that your child is under 18.

Businesses can refuse entry if you cannot show proof of vaccination or recovery or you cannot demonstrate that your certificate relates to you. If businesses do not operate on this basis, they may be liable for fines or closure.

These rules are in place until 9 October 2021 at the earliest.

Proof of immunity and identification

You can use your EU COVID Digital Certificate (DCC) or your HSE vaccination record as proof. You need to have photo identification to show that the proof of vaccination or recovery belongs to you.

You can use the following as identification:

  • Driving licence
  • Passport
  • Student card
  • Garda age card
  • Irish Residence Permit (IRP)
  • National identity card
  • Any other official document that includes your photo and was issued outside of Ireland

If you do not have a DCC or HSE vaccination record (because you are visiting Ireland from another country for example), you can use an official vaccination record issued by the country where you were vaccinated or tested for COVID-19.

Important things to know

A maximum of 6 people aged 13 and over are allowed per table. The maximum number allowed per table including children aged 12 and under is 15 people.

In addition:

  • You should wear a face covering when you are not sitting at your table
  • There are no time limits on sittings
  • You can only eat or drink at a table, and not at the bar or counter
  • If you do not have proof of vaccination or recovery, or you cannot show that the proof you have belongs to you, the bar or restaurant should refuse admission
  • Live music and dancing are not allowed
  • One member of your group must give their details to the pub or restaurant for contact tracing.

Restrictions in place now

You should continue to work from home where possible.

Meeting with people at your home

If your household is not fully vaccinated, you can have visitors indoors from one other unvaccinated household.

If you are fully vaccinated, you can meet indoors with people from one unvaccinated household if they are not at risk of severe illness and no more than 3 households are there.

Fully vaccinated people can visit together indoors with no limit on numbers. This also applies to people who had a positive COVID-19 test in the past 9 months. This is called the vaccine bonus.

Restaurants and pubs

Restaurants and bars are open for outdoor service for groups of up to 6 people, not including children under 13. Indoor service is for customers who can prove that they have been fully vaccinated or have recovered from COVID-19 in the past 6 months (and accompanied children). See 'Rules for indoor dining' above.

Organised outdoor events

Organised outdoor events can take place with the following attendance limits:

  • Up to 75% full where everyone attending (not including accompanied children) are fully vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19
  • Up to 50% full where people attending are not all fully vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19. The venue must make sure that social distancing is in place and that people attending are wearing face coverings.

Different rules apply to weddings (see below).

Organised indoor events

Organised indoor activities include:

  • Live entertainment (also see below for separate rules for theatres)
  • Concerts
  • Conferences and trade fairs
  • Watching indoor sports
  • Bingo

Organised indoor events can only take place where people attending are fully vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19 (not including accompanied children). Venues can have up to 60% capacity. Events must be fully seated.

Cinemas and theatres

Cinemas and theatres are open with the following attendance limits:

  • Up to 60% full where everyone in the audience is fully vaccinated or has recovered from COVID-19 (not including accompanied children)
  • Up to 50 people where the audience are not all fully vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19

Sports and activities

Indoor group activities including group exercise, dance classes, and non-professional sports training and matches, cannot currently take place.

Outdoor sport facilities are open, including golf courses and tennis courts.

Outdoor sports training can take place in pods of up to 15. Outdoor matches can take place.

Shops and services

All shops and retail can reopen. You must wear a face covering.

Personal services (like hairdressers) are open by appointment.

Property viewings can take place by appointment only.

Nursing homes

Nursing home residents can have 2 visitors at a time, with no restrictions on the duration or frequency of the visits.

Domestic travel

You can travel anywhere in Ireland. Public transport can operate at 100% capacity.

International travel

Ireland has adopted the EU Digital COVID Certificate

International travel can resume

Weddings

Up to 100 people can attend a wedding service and reception. Live music is permitted.

Religious services and funerals

Places of worship are open for religious services. The place of worship can be 50% full.

Baptisms, communions and confirmations can take place.

Laws and penalties

You can read about:

Page edited: 6 September 2021