Coronavirus: Different plans discussed for Dublin amid ‘very worrying’ signs

The Government will decide this morning if it will escalate the alert level of Dublin above the rest of the State under its new medium-term Living with Covid-19 five-level plan, as serious concerns continue about the rates of infection in the capital.

At issue is whether to keep it at the second-most benign level of the five-level plan, Level 2, despite the number of cases increasing twentyfold in the course of a month in the capital, or to raise it to Level 3.

However, if it is kept at Level 2, Dublin’s population of 1.4 million people will be subject to additional restrictions including a delay in the reopening of wet pubs from the scheduled September 21st date, as well as a new measure which will say members of only one household will be allowed to visit another home. It is also understood stopping all visits to residential care and nursing homes is being considered.

However, the other scenario that was being discussed by senior Ministers late last night was to designate Dublin at Level 3 but to modify some of the more severe restrictions associated with the elevated level.

In five hours of successive meetings yesterday involving the Cabinet sub-committee on Covid-19 and the three party leaders – Taoiseach Micheál Martin, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar and Green Party leader Eamon Ryan – the primary focus was on the deteriorating situation in Dublin.

“They were long meetings,” said a senior Government source. “Dublin is a serious worry.”

The source said, however, it would have been “premature” to assign the more serious Level 3 status to Dublin as the full analysis on the situation in the capital has not yet been done.