As the Deputy is aware, the Resilience and Recovery 2020-2021: Plan for Living with COVID-19 was published by the Government on 15 September, 2020. This Plan provides a framework setting out Ireland's approach to managing and living with COVID-19 in a range of areas over the next 6 - 9 months.
The framework sets out five levels of response, each with a number of measures designed to help us all lower COVID-19 transmission and setting out what is permitted at that moment in time. It is framed to account for periods during which there is a low incidence of the disease, with isolated clusters and low community transmission, through to situations where there is a high or rapidly increasing incidence, widespread community transmission and the pandemic is escalating rapidly in Ireland and globally. It recognises the need for society and business to be allowed to continue as normally as possible and is designed so that either national or county level restrictions can be applied.
The Plan reflects a careful consideration of the impact of the introduction of restrictions on employment and livelihoods, keeping as many businesses open as possible at different stages, while acknowledging that some businesses and services are critical. It acknowledges that sports, arts and other social activities are central to our well-being and that sports and arts are also the world of work for our many in our communities.
Ireland has moved from a short-term emergency response approach to a medium-term approach to managing risk and repairing the damage that COVID-19 has inflicted on society.
As the Deputy is aware, Ireland is now at Level 5 of the Plan. Under Level 5, people are asked to stay at home at all times unless they have a reasonable excuse for travelling. The relevant regulations, as set out in SI No. 448 of 2020, provide for a number of exemptions to this requirement to remain at home, including travel to and from work, where work involves providing an essential service; to attend education; to attend medical appointments and collect medicines and other health products; to travel to attend disability day services; to travel to attend a court; for food shopping; to take school aged children to permitted training; for vital family reasons, such as providing care to children, elderly or vulnerable people; for farming purposes; to attend a wedding or funeral or to visit a grave; and to take exercise within 5 km of home.
Details of public health measures in place at Level 5, including domestic travel and essential services are available at https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/2dc71-level-5/