Level 5 restrictions – and online marts – to continue to April 5

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has confirmed this evening (Tuesday, February 23) that ‘Level 5’ Covid-19 restrictions will continue until April 5, extending the period of restrictions from the March 5 date that was announced at the start of the year.

This also means, of course, that Level 5 restrictions as they apply to the agriculture sector will also be in place until April 5.

Under these restrictions, the following activities are deemed essential services and can continue as long as social distancing, mask wearing and other measures are adhered to:

  • Farming;
  • Farm labour;
  • Farm relief services;
  • Crop and animal production;
  • Fishing for commercial purposes;
  • Aquaculture and fish farming;
  • Horticulture;
  • Forestry;
  • veterinary, animal welfare and related services;
  • Mart sales (see below for more information);
  • The provision of support services relating to any of the above.

Marts

Mart sales can only be held online under Level 5.

Arrangement can be made for marts to facilitate the weighing of animals; the matching of stock between buyers and sellers; dropping-off of animals; and buyer inspection of stock in pens (by appointment only).

The actual bidding process takes place only online.

In other changes, Covid-19 support payments and measures have been extended until June 30.

These include:

  • Pandemic Unemployment Payment;
  • Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme;
  • Covid-19 Enhanced Illness Benefit;
  • Covid Restrictions Support Scheme;
  • Suspension of redundancy provisions;
  • Commercial rates waiver.