Dublin, Oct 16 : Parts of Ireland were placed under stricter control due to a spike in the number of fresh coronavirus cases.
The measure came into effect on Thursday midnight a day after after the Irish government decided to upgrade the Covid-19 response in three northern counties of Cavan, Donegal and Monaghan from the current Level 3 to 4, reports Xinhua news agency.
It will remain in place for four weeks and will be reviewed after it ends on November 10.
Under the Level 4 response, visits to private homes including gardens will be banned, no social or family gatherings will be allowed except weddings and funerals which will allow a maximum of six persons and 25 persons in attendance respectively.
No organized indoor gatherings shall take place and the maximum number of people permitted for outdoor gatherings is 15.
All the non-essential retail outlets and services will be closed.
Restaurants, cafes and bars are only allowed to provide takeaway and outdoor dining services with up to 15 customers to be served each time.
Hotels and guesthouses are only open to existing guests and for essential non-tourist and non-social purposes.
All the primary and secondary schools as well as pre-school institutions will remain open.
Universities and other higher education institutions will move online primarily.
Public transport is only open for essential workers and must be operated at 25 per cent capacity.
The Irish government also decided to ban visits to private homes and outdoor gatherings of over six persons from more than two households in other parts of the country, which are currently under a Level 3 response that prohibits people from non-essential domestic and international travels apart from a number of other restrictions.
Last month, the government introduced a new five-tier response mechanism to deal with the pandemic in the country with Level 1 having the least amount of restrictions and Level 5 having the strictest measures.
The pandemic situation in Ireland has showed a deteriorating trend since late July partially due to the easing of lockdown measures imposed on the country in mid-March.
So far, there were a total of 45,243 confirmed cases in Ireland with 1,835 fatalities.