Please stay at home until 1 February, except for the following situations:

  • To travel to and from work, or for purposes of work, only where the work is an essential health, social care or other essential service and cannot be done from home
  • To shop for essential food, beverage and household goods or collect a meal
  • To attend medical appointments and collect medicines and other health products
  • For vital family reasons, such as providing care to children, elderly or vulnerable people
  • To take brief individual physical exercise within 5 kilometres of your home, which may include other members of your household, as long as you adhere to strict 2 metre physical distancing
  • For farming purposes

As stated in previous guidance, all employees should work remotely from home if at all possible.

If you are not engaged in the provision of essential services, then you are not permitted to travel to and from work until 1 February 2021.

There will be a grace period until 6pm on Friday, 8 January for people who need to make necessary arrangements to wind down their activities in an orderly way. This should however be done in a way that minimises travel and personal interaction as much as possible.

In exceptional circumstances, it is accepted that some extra time will be needed for a wind down of activity, or necessary for a site to continue to operate at a reduced level of activity, for example in complex manufacturing processes or very large construction projects.

Services provided in the following areas are considered to be essential:

Education and childcare

  • Those providing special education (special schools and special classes) and or involved in specialised settings (such as Oberstown and high support special care schools and youth encounter projects) which will continue fully open from 11 January.
  • Those providing education to Leaving Certificate students
  • Those involved in the provision of Youthreach services
  • Childminders providing care for vulnerable children and children of essential workers.


  • Essential health and related projects relevant to preventing, limiting, minimising or slowing the spread of COVID-19
  • Social housing projects, including voids, designated as essential sites by Local Authorities based on set criteria
  • Housing adaptation grants where the homeowner is agreeable to adaptions being undertaken in their home
  • Repair, maintenance and construction of critical road, rail and utility infrastructure
  • Education facilities sites designated as essential by Department of Education
  • Supply and delivery of essential or emergency maintenance and repair services to businesses and places of residence (including electrical, gas, plumbing, glazing and roofing services) on an emergency call-out basis.
  • Certain large construction projects in the exporting / FDI sector based on set criteria

Agriculture and Fishing

  • Farmers
  • Farm labourers
  • Farm relief service workers
  • Fthers involved directly or indirectly in crop and animal production and related activities (including veterinary services), and workers involved in fishing


  • The manufacture of food and beverage products
  • The manufacture of prepared animal feeds
  • The manufacture of work-wear apparel or footwear
  • The manufacture of pulp, paper and paperboard and wood
  • The printing and reproduction of newspapers and other media services
  • The manufacturing of coke and refined petroleum products
  • The manufacturing of alumina; chemicals and chemical products
  • The manufacture of pharmaceutical products and pharmaceutical preparations
  • The manufacture of products necessary for the supply chain of essential services; computer, electronic and optical products including semi-conductors; electrical equipment, machinery and other equipment (including agricultural and forestry machinery); medical devices; and medical and dental equipment and supplies

Repair and installation of Machinery and Equipment

  • The supply, repair and installation of machinery and equipment and industrial machinery and equipment for essential services

Electricity, Gas and Water

  • Electric power generation, transmission and distribution
  • Extraction and distribution of gas
  • Water collection, treatment and supply
  • Sewerage; waste collection, remediation activities and other waste management treatment and disposal activities

Wholesale and Retail Trade

  • Essential retail outlets
  • Wholesale and distribution services necessary for the sale of food, beverages, fuel, medicines, medical products and devices and essential household products; takeaways and food delivery services

Transport Storage and Communication

  • Land transport (for example, bus, rail and taxi services)
  • Road, rail, sea and air freight
  • Sea and air passenger services; ports and airports
  • Warehousing and support activities for transportation including cargo-handling
  • Postal and courier activities
  • Network control and critical maintenance (including roads)
  • Safety related functions

Accommodation and Food Services

  • Hotels or similar providing essential accommodation (including homeless, direct provision and related services)
  • Food and beverage service activities in accordance with the separate essential retail outlets list or for supply to a business engaged in an essential service

Information and Communications

  • The publishing of newspapers, journals and periodicals as well as video, television programme production, sound recording, radio and television broadcasting; wired and satellite and telecommunications activities; internet and cloud providers; data centres and related services

Financial and legal activities

  • Banking and financial services (including banks, credit unions and post offices)
  • Accountancy, legal and insurance services necessary to support essential services and vulnerable people

Professional, Scientific and Technical activities

  • Angineering, technical testing activities and analysis
  • Scientific research and development activities
  • Regulation, inspection and certification services necessary to support essential services

Rental and Leasing Activities

  • Rental and lease of cars
  • Light motor vehicles and trucks necessary to support the provision of essential services

Administrative and Support Services

Where necessary to support other essential services:

  • Employment placement and human resources associated with the recruitment and deployment of workers
  • Security activities to assist in the delivery of essential services and the securing of premises closed to the public
  • Cleaning of buildings and industrial cleaning activities; business support activities which are necessary to support essential services included on this list; payroll and payment services necessary for the operation of businesses; data processing, hosting and related activities

Public Administration and Defence

  • Public administration activities necessary to support essential services and provision of social protection benefits (including Civil Service and Local Government)
  • An Garda Siochana, Garda Staff and the Garda Reserve
  • Public order, safety, fire service and ambulance activities
  • The Defence Forces
  • Emergency call answering services
  • Services to ensure administration of justice
  • Prison services and Child Detention services
  • Cyber-security
  • Regulatory processes and certification required to ensure supply chains, food, medicine and general process safety
  • Operation of botanical gardens, parks, forests and nature reserves
  • Funeral services
  • Religious personnel
  • Office-holders and public representatives

Human health and social work activities

  • Hospital services
  • Paramedical and essential therapy activities
  • Public health activities (including all those deployed to contract tracing and COVID-19 testing services)
  • Laboratory services
  • Drug treatment and addiction services
  • Hospice services
  • Pharmacy services
  • Primary care, general and specialist medical practice activities provided by public and private providers
  • Emergency dental practice activities
  • Blood donation service
  • Residential care activities (including nursing care, mental health and substance abuse, elderly and persons with disabilities, children’s residential services)
  • Homecare home help and other community services
  • Social work and social care activities (including disability services, mental health, child protection and welfare, domestic, sexual and gender based violence, homeless services including outreach)
  • Ambulance/pre-hospital emergency care services
  • Minor injury units
  • Maternity services
  • Health, social work, environmental, food safety regulatory activities
  • Childcare for those providing services to children of essential workers or vulnerable children

Community/Voluntary Services

  • Community and voluntary workers, working in a publicly commissioned service, not otherwise included on the list, deployed to assist in the delivery of essential services
  • Volunteer services operating under the local authority emergency management framework in accordance with public health guidance

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