COVID-19 pandemic in the Republic of Ireland

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COVID-19 pandemic in the Republic of Ireland
COVID-19 14-day incidence rate per 100,000 population in Ireland.png
COVID-19 14-day incidence rate per 100,000 population by county,[i] 6 April 2021
Ireland: Positive decrease 144.9 (-2.4) (9 April 2021)
  •   194–408
  •   117–194
  •   87–117
  •   42–87
  •   <42
  • Vaccines: 1,018,264 total doses (+29,017)[1]
  • 1st Dose: 716,636 (+19,268)[1]
  • 2nd Dose: 301,628 (+9,749)[1]
  • (As of 8 April 2021)
Monsoon fashion shop in Grafton Street
An empty waiting room in Connolly Hospital
A COVID-19 street safety sign in Douglas, Cork
Wash your hands window in Dame Street Boarded up
Deserted M50 motorway near Castleknock
(clockwise from top)
DiseaseCOVID-19
Virus strainSARS-CoV-2
LocationRepublic of Ireland
First outbreakWuhan, Hubei, China
Index caseDublin
Arrival date29 February 2020 (1 year, 1 month, 1 week and 5 days ago)
Confirmed cases240,643 (+455) (10 April 2021)[2]
Hospitalised cases
  • Positive decrease 208 (-4) (active) (10 April 2021)[3]
  • 13,813 (total)[3]
Critical cases
  • Positive decrease 52 (-1) (active) (10 April 2021)[3]
  • 1,454 (total)[3]
Ventilator casesPositive decrease 30 (-3) (active) (9 April 2021)[4]
Deaths
4,783 (+14) (10 April 2021)[2]
Fatality rateNegative increase 1.99%
Government website
Gov.ie – COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

The COVID-19 pandemic in the Republic of Ireland is part of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The virus reached the country in late February 2020[5] and within three weeks, cases had been confirmed in all counties.[6][7] The pandemic affected many aspects of society. The government shut all schools, colleges, childcare facilities and cultural institutions on 12 March 2020.[8] All large gatherings were cancelled, including St Patrick's Day festivities two years running.[9][10] On 24 March 2020, almost all businesses, venues and amenities were shut,[11] and on 27 March, the first stay-at-home order banned all non-essential travel and contact with other people.[12][13][14] The elderly and those with certain illnesses were told to cocoon.[15] People were made to keep apart in public. The Oireachtas passed an emergency act giving the state power to detain people, restrict travel and keep people in their homes to control the virus's spread.[16] Further emergency law passed the following week. The Garda Síochána were given power to enforce the lockdown,[17] which was repeatedly extended until late May.[18]

The lockdown caused a severe recession[19] and an unprecedented rise in unemployment.[20][21][22] A Pandemic Unemployment Payment and a Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme were set up. School exams were cancelled. The Health Service Executive (HSE) launched a recruitment campaign, asking all current and former healthcare workers to "be on call for Ireland".[23] By mid-April, the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) reported that the pandemic's growth rate had been driven "as low as it needs to be",[24] and the curve had flattened.[25]

Daily cases and deaths dropped to low levels by June and restrictions were gradually lifted, while schools remained closed for summer break. In August, a three-week regional lockdown was imposed in three counties following a spike in cases linked to meat processing plants.[26][27][28] Schools re-opened in September. This was followed by a surge in cases, and in October another statewide lockdown was imposed, excluding schools.[29][30][31][32] In early December, Ireland's infection rate was the lowest in the European Union,[33][34] and restrictions were eased.[35][36][37]

There was another surge in late December,[38] and on 24 December (Christmas Eve), another statewide lockdown was imposed.[39][40][41] This was soon tightened to include schools. On St Stephen's Day, the first shipment of the Pfizer–BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine arrived,[42][43][44] and vaccinations began on 29 December.[45] In February 2021, the government imposed testing and quarantine rules on all incoming travellers for the first time.[46] Serious cases fell sharply, and schools re-opened in March.

By 10 April 2021, the Department of Health had confirmed 240,643 cases and 4,783 deaths.[2] More than 90% of those who have died were aged over 65,[47] and most also had underlying illnesses or lived in care homes.[48] As of 7 April 2021, 716,636 people had received the first dose of a vaccine and 301,628 had received their second dose, bringing the total of vaccines administered to 1,018,264.[1]

Statistics[edit]

The surveillance of COVID-19 cases has been integrated into the existing national Computerised Infectious Disease Reporting (CIDR) system since COVID-19 was made a notifiable disease on 20 February 2020. CIDR is the information system used to manage the surveillance and control of infectious diseases in Ireland, both at regional and national level.[49] Daily epidemiological reports on COVID-19 are prepared by the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) for the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET).[50] Additional information, including the actual dates of the backlogged cases announced on 10 April 2020, is provided by the Health Service Executive in its daily operations updates.[4]

By 10 April 2021, the Department of Health had confirmed 240,643 cases and 4,783 deaths;[2] a rate of 48,319 cases per million, 960 deaths per million and 833,934 tests per million population.[51]

Age profile of cases to 8 April
Age Cases (%)
0–4
7,460(3.11%)
5–14
16,564(6.9%)
15–24
42,054(17.54%)
25–34
42,357(17.66%)
35–44
38,855(16.2%)
45–54
35,541(14.82%)
55–64
26,611(11.1%)
65–74
13,254(5.52%)
75–84
9,907(4.13%)
85+
7,541(3.14%)

Median age: 38; Mean age: 40; Range: 0-108

Age profile of deaths to 5 April
Age Deaths (%)
0–24
2(0.04%)
25–34
11(0.23%)
35–44
38(0.8%)
45–54
78(1.6%)
55–64
244(5.2%)
65–74
731(15.5%)
75–84
1,605(34%)
85+
2,016(42.6%)
Unknown
2(0.04%)
Health Worker
15(0.3%)

Median age: 83; Mean age: 81; Range: 0-105

Age profile of hospitalised cases to 8 April
Age Number of cases (%)
0–4
171(1.24%)
5–14
132(0.95%)
15–24
540(3.92%)
25–34
884(6.42%)
35–44
1,078(7.83%)
45–54
1,560(11.33%)
55–64
1,920(13.95%)
65–74
2,439(17.72%)
75–84
3,089(22.44%)
85+
1,996(14.52%)
Gender of COVID-19 cases to 8 April
Gender Number of cases (%)
Female
125,520(52.26%)
Male
114,578(47.70%)
Unknown
90(0.04%)

Total = 240,188

Gender of COVID-19 deaths to 5 April
Gender Number of deaths (%)
Female
2,238(47.33%)
Male
2,489(52.63%)
Unknown
2(0.04%)

Timeline[edit]

COVID-19 cases in the Republic of Ireland  ()
     Deaths        Recoveries        Active cases        Backlogged cases
2020202020212021
FebFebMarMarAprAprMayMayJunJunJulJulAugAugSepSepOctOctNovNovDecDec
JanJanFebFebMarMarAprApr
Last 15 daysLast 15 days
Date
# of cases
# of deaths
2020-02-29 1(n.a.)
1(=)
2020-03-03 2(+100%)
2020-03-04
6(+200%)
2020-03-05
13(+117%)
2020-03-06
18(+38%)
2020-03-07
19(+5.6%)
2020-03-08
21(+11%)
2020-03-09
24(+14%)
2020-03-10
34(+42%)
2020-03-11
43(+26%) 1(n.a.)
2020-03-12
70(+63%) 1(=)
2020-03-13
90(+29%) 1(=)
2020-03-14
129(+43%) 2(+100%)
2020-03-15
169(+31%) 2(=)
2020-03-16
223(+32%) 2(=)
2020-03-17
292(+31%) 2(=)
2020-03-18
366(+25.3%) 2(=7)
2020-03-19
2020-03-20
683(n.a.) 3(n.a.)
2020-03-21
785(+15%) 3(=)
2020-03-22
906(+15%) 4(+33%)
2020-03-23
1,125(+24%) 6(+50%)
2020-03-24
1,329(+18%) 7(+17%)
2020-03-25
1,564(+18%) 9(+29%)
2020-03-26
1,819(+16%) 19(+111%)
2020-03-27
2,121(+17%) 22(+16%)
2020-03-28
2,415(+14%) 36(+64%)
2020-03-29
2,615(+8.3%) 46(+28%)
2020-03-30
2,910(+11%) 54(+17%)
2020-03-31
3,235(+11%) 71(+31%)
2020-04-01
3,447(+6.6%) 85(+20%)
2020-04-02
3,849(+12%) 98(+15%)
2020-04-03
4,273(+11%) 120(+22%)
2020-04-04
4,604(+7.7%) 137(+14%)
2020-04-05
5,111(+11.0%[ii]) 158(+15.3%)
2020-04-06
5,859(+14.6%[ii]) 174(+10.1%)
2020-04-07
6,224(+6.2%[ii]) 210(+20.7%)
2020-04-08
6,688(+7.5%[ii]) 235(+11.9%)
2020-04-09
7,393(+10.5%[ii]) 263(+11.9%)
2020-04-10
8,089(+9.4%[ii]) 288(+9.5%)
2020-04-11
8,642(+9.8%) 320(+11%)
2020-04-12
9,358(+8.3%) 334(+4.4%)
2020-04-13
10,182(+8.8%) 365(+9.3%)
2020-04-14
11,195(+9.9%) 406(+11%)
2020-04-15
12,136(+8.4%) 444(+9.4%)
2020-04-16
13,176(+8.6%) 486(+9.5%)
2020-04-17
13,868(+5.3%) 530(+9.1%)
2020-04-18
14,610(+5.4%) 571(+7.7%)
2020-04-19
15,203(+4.1%) 610(+6.8%)
2020-04-20
15,652(+3%) 687(+13%)
2020-04-21
16,040(+2.5%) 730(+6.3%)
2020-04-22
16,671(+3.9%) 769(+5.3%)
2020-04-23
17,607(+5.6%) 794(+3.3%)
2020-04-24
18,184(+3.3%) 1,014(+27.7%[iii])
2020-04-25
18,561(+2.1%) 1,063(+4.8%)
2020-04-26
19,262(+3.8%) 1,087(+2.3%)
2020-04-27
19,648(+2%) 1,102(+1.4%)
2020-04-28
19,877(+1.2%) 1,159(+5.2%)
2020-04-29
20,253(+1.9%) 1,190(+2.7%)
2020-04-30
20,612(+1.8%) 1,232(+3.5%)
2020-05-01
20,833(+1.1%) 1,265(+2.7%)
2020-05-02
21,176(+1.6%) 1,286(+1.7%)
2020-05-03
21,506(+1.6%) 1,303(+1.3%)
2020-05-04
21,772(+1.2%) 1,319(+1.2%)
2020-05-05
21,983(+0.97%) 1,339(+1.5%)
2020-05-06
22,248(+1.2%) 1,375(+2.7%)
2020-05-07
22,385(+0.62%) 1,403(+2%)
2020-05-08
22,541(+0.7%) 1,429(+1.9%)
2020-05-09
22,760(+0.97%) 1,446(+1.2%)
2020-05-10
22,996(+1%) 1,458(+0.83%)
2020-05-11
23,135(+0.6%) 1,467(+0.62%)
2020-05-12
23,242(+0.46%) 1,488(+1.4%)
2020-05-13
23,401(+0.68%) 1,497(+0.6%)
2020-05-14
23,827(+1.8%[iv]) 1,506(+0.6%)
2020-05-15
23,956(+0.5%) 1,518(+0.8%)
2020-05-16
24,048(+0.38%) 1,533(+0.99%)
2020-05-17
24,112(+0.27%) 1,543(+0.65%)
2020-05-18
24,200(+0.36%) 1,547(+0.26%)
2020-05-19
24,251(+0.21%) 1,561(+0.9%)
2020-05-20
24,315(+0.26%) 1,571(+0.64%)
2020-05-21
24,391(+0.31%) 1,583(+0.76%)
2020-05-22
24,506(+0.47%) 1,592(+0.57%)
2020-05-23
24,582(+0.31%) 1,604(+0.75%)
2020-05-24
24,639(+0.23%) 1,606(+0.12%)
2020-05-25
24,698(+0.24%) 1,606(=)
2020-05-26
24,735(+0.15%) 1,615(+0.56%)
2020-05-27
24,803(+0.27%) 1,631(+0.99%)
2020-05-28
24,841(+0.15%) 1,639(+0.49%)
2020-05-29
24,876(+0.14%) 1,645(+0.37%)
2020-05-30
24,929(+0.21%) 1,648(+0.18%)
2020-05-31
24,990(+0.24%) 1,649(+0.06%)
2020-06-01
25,062(+0.29%) 1,650(+0.06%)
2020-06-02
25,066(+0.02%) 1,658(+0.48%)
2020-06-03
25,111(+0.18%) 1,659(+0.06%)
2020-06-04
25,142(+0.12%) 1,664(+0.3%)
2020-06-05
25,163(+0.08%) 1,670(+0.36%)
2020-06-06
25,183(+0.08%) 1,678(+0.48%)
2020-06-07
25,201(+0.07%) 1,679(+0.06%)
2020-06-08
25,207(+0.02%) 1,683(+0.24%)
2020-06-09
25,215(+0.03%) 1,691(+0.48%)
2020-06-10
25,231(+0.06%) 1,695(+0.24%)
2020-06-11
25,238(+0.03%) 1,703(+0.47%)
2020-06-12
25,250(+0.05%) 1,705(+0.12%)
2020-06-13
25,295(+0.18%) 1,705(=)
2020-06-14
25,303(+0.03%) 1,706(+0.06%)
2020-06-15
25,321(+0.07%) 1,706(=)
2020-06-16
25,334(+0.05%) 1,709(+0.18%)
2020-06-17
25,341(+0.03%) 1,710(+0.06%)
2020-06-18
25,355(+0.06%) 1,714(+0.23%)
2020-06-19
25,368(+0.05%) 1,714(=)
2020-06-20
25,374(+0.02%) 1,715(+0.06%)
2020-06-21
25,379(+0.02%) 1,715(=)
2020-06-22
25,383(+0.02%) 1,717(+0.12%)
2020-06-23
25,391(+0.03%) 1,720(+0.17%)
2020-06-24
25,396(+0.02%) 1,726(+0.35%)
2020-06-25
25,405(+0.04%) 1,727(+0.06%)
2020-06-26
25,414(+0.04%) 1,730(+0.17%)
2020-06-27
25,437(+0.09%) 1,734(+0.23%)
2020-06-28
25,439(+0.01%) 1,735(+0.06%)
2020-06-29
25,462(+0.09%) 1,735(=)
2020-06-30
25,473(+0.04%) 1,736(+0.06%)
2020-07-01
25,477(+0.02%) 1,738(+0.12%)
2020-07-02
25,489(+0.05%) 1,738(=)
2020-07-03
25,498(+0.04%) 1,740(+0.12%)
2020-07-04
25,509(+0.04%) 1,741(+0.06%)
2020-07-05
25,527(+0.07%) 1,741(=)
2020-07-06
25,531(+0.02%) 1,741(=)
2020-07-07
25,538(+0.03%) 1,742(+0.06%)
2020-07-08
25,542(+0.02%) 1,738(−0.23%)
2020-07-09
25,565(+0.09%) 1,743(+0.29%)
2020-07-10
25,589(+0.09%) 1,744(+0.06%)
2020-07-11
25,611(+0.09%) 1,746(+0.11%)
2020-07-12
25,628(+0.07%) 1,746(=)
2020-07-13
25,638(+0.04%) 1,746(=)
2020-07-14
25,670(+0.12%) 1,746(=)
2020-07-15
25,683(+0.05%) 1,748(+0.11%)
2020-07-16
25,698(+0.06%) 1,749(+0.06%)
2020-07-17
25,730(+0.12%) 1,752(+0.17%)
2020-07-18
25,750(+0.08%) 1,753(+0.06%)
2020-07-19
25,760(+0.04%) 1,753(=)
2020-07-20
25,766(+0.02%) 1,753(=)
2020-07-21
25,802(+0.14%) 1,753(=)
2020-07-22
25,819(+0.07%) 1,754(+0.06%)
2020-07-23
25,826(+0.03%) 1,763(+0.51%)
2020-07-24
25,845(+0.07%) 1,763(=)
2020-07-25
25,869(+0.09%) 1,764(+0.06%)
2020-07-26
25,881(+0.05%) 1,764(=)
2020-07-27
25,892(+0.04%) 1,764(=)
2020-07-28
25,929(+0.14%) 1,764(=)
2020-07-29
25,942(+0.05%) 1,764(=)
2020-07-30
26,027(+0.33%[v]) 1,763(-0.06%)
2020-07-31
26,065(+0.15%) 1,763(=)
2020-08-01
26,109(+0.17%) 1,763(=)
2020-08-02
26,162(+0.2%) 1,763(=)
2020-08-03
26,208(+0.18%) 1,763(=)
2020-08-04
26,253(+0.17%) 1,763(=)
2020-08-05
26,303(+0.19%) 1,763(=)
2020-08-06
26,372(+0.26%) 1,768(+0.28%)
2020-08-07
26,470(+0.37%[vi]) 1,772(+0.23%)
2020-08-08
26,644(+0.66%[vi]) 1,772(=)
2020-08-09
26,712(+0.26%) 1,772(=)
2020-08-10
26,768(+0.21%) 1,772(=)
2020-08-11
26,801(+0.12%) 1,773(+0.06%)
2020-08-12
26,838(+0.14%) 1,774(+0.06%)
2020-08-13
26,929(+0.34%) 1,774(=)
2020-08-14
26,995(+0.25%) 1,774(=)
2020-08-15
27,191(+0.73%[vii]) 1,774(=)
2020-08-16
27,257(+0.24%) 1,774(=)
2020-08-17
27,313(+0.21%) 1,774(=)
2020-08-18
27,499(+0.68%) 1,775(+0.06%)
2020-08-19
27,547(+0.17%) 1,775(=)
2020-08-20
27,676(+0.47%) 1,776(+0.06%)
2020-08-21
27,755(+0.29%) 1,776(=)
2020-08-22
27,908(+0.55%) 1,777(+0.06%)
2020-08-23
27,969(+0.22%) 1,777(=)
2020-08-24
28,116(+0.53%) 1,777(=)
2020-08-25
28,201(+0.3%) 1,777(=)
2020-08-26
28,363(+0.57%) 1,777(=)
2020-08-27
28,453(+0.32%) 1,777(=)
2020-08-28
28,578(+0.44%) 1,777(=)
2020-08-29
28,720(+0.5%) 1,777(=)
2020-08-30
28,760(+0.14%) 1,777(=)
2020-08-31
28,811(+0.18%) 1,777(=)
2020-09-01
29,025(+0.74%) 1,777(=)
2020-09-02
29,114(+0.31%) 1,777(=)
2020-09-03
29,206(+0.32%) 1,777(=)
2020-09-04
29,303(+0.33%) 1,777(=)
2020-09-05
29,534(+0.79%) 1,777(=)
2020-09-06
29,672(+0.47%) 1,777(=)
2020-09-07
29,774(+0.34%) 1,777(=)
2020-09-08
30,080(+1%) 1,778(+0.06%)
2020-09-09
30,164(+0.28%) 1,781(+0.17%)
2020-09-10
30,360(+0.65%) 1,781(=)
2020-09-11
30,571(+0.69%) 1,781(=)
2020-09-12
30,730(+0.52%) 1,783(+0.11%)
2020-09-13
30,985(+0.83%) 1,784(+0.06%)
2020-09-14
31,192(+0.67%) 1,784(=)
2020-09-15
31,549(+1.1%) 1,787(+0.17%)
2020-09-16
31,799(+0.79%) 1,788(+0.06%)
2020-09-17
32,023(+0.7%) 1,789(+0.06%)
2020-09-18
32,271(+0.77%) 1,792(+0.17%)
2020-09-19
32,538(+0.83%) 1,792(=)
2020-09-20
32,933(+1.2%) 1,792(=)
2020-09-21
33,121(+0.57%) 1,792(=)
2020-09-22
33,444(+0.98%) 1,792(=)
2020-09-23
33,675(+0.69%) 1,794(+0.11%)
2020-09-24
33,994(+0.95%) 1,797(+0.17%)
2020-09-25
34,315(+0.94%) 1,797(=)
2020-09-26
34,560(+0.71%) 1,802(+0.28%)
2020-09-27
34,990(+1.2%) 1,802(=)
2020-09-28
35,377(+1.1%) 1,802(=)
2020-09-29
35,740(+1%) 1,803(+0.06%)
2020-09-30
36,155(+1.2%) 1,804(+0.06%)
2020-10-01
36,597(+1.2%) 1,806(+0.11%)
2020-10-02
37,063(+1.3%) 1,801(−0.28%)
2020-10-03
37,668(+1.6%) 1,810(+0.5%)
2020-10-04
38,032(+0.97%) 1,810(=)
2020-10-05
38,549(+1.4%) 1,810(=)
2020-10-06
38,973(+1.1%) 1,811(+0.06%)
2020-10-07
39,584(+1.6%) 1,816(+0.28%)
2020-10-08
40,086(+1.3%) 1,817(+0.06%)
2020-10-09
40,703(+1.5%) 1,821(+0.22%)
2020-10-10
41,714(+2.5%) 1,824(+0.16%)
2020-10-11
42,528(+2%) 1,826(+0.11%)
2020-10-12
43,351(+1.9%) 1,827(+0.05%)
2020-10-13
44,159(+1.9%) 1,830(+0.16%)
2020-10-14
45,243(+2.5%) 1,835(+0.27%)
2020-10-15
46,429(+2.6%) 1,838(+0.16%)
2020-10-16
47,427(+2.1%) 1,841(+0.16%)
2020-10-17
48,678(+2.6%) 1,849(+0.43%)
2020-10-18
49,962(+2.6%) 1,852(+0.16%)
2020-10-19
50,993(+2.1%) 1,852(=)
2020-10-20
52,256(+2.5%) 1,865(+0.7%)
2020-10-21
53,422(+2.2%) 1,868(+0.16%)
2020-10-22
54,476(+2%) 1,871(+0.16%)
2020-10-23
55,261(+1.4%) 1,878(+0.37%)
2020-10-24
56,108(+1.5%) 1,882(+0.21%)
2020-10-25
57,128(+1.8%) 1,882(=)
2020-10-26
58,067(+1.6%) 1,885(+0.16%)
2020-10-27
58,767(+1.2%) 1,890(+0.27%)
2020-10-28
59,434(+1.1%) 1,896(+0.32%)
2020-10-29
60,297(+1.5%) 1,902(+0.32%)
2020-10-30
61,059(+1.3%) 1,908(+0.32%)
2020-10-31
61,456(+0.65%) 1,913(+0.26%)
2020-11-01
62,002(+0.89%) 1,915(+0.1%)
2020-11-02
62,750(+1.2%) 1,917(+0.1%)
2020-11-03
63,048(+0.47%) 1,922(+0.26%)
2020-11-04
63,483(+0.69%) 1,930(+0.42%)
2020-11-05
64,046(+0.89%) 1,933(+0.16%)
2020-11-06
64,538(+0.77%) 1,940(+0.36%)
2020-11-07
64,855(+0.49%) 1,945(+0.26%)
2020-11-08
65,394(+0.83%) 1,947(+0.1%)
2020-11-09
65,659(+0.41%) 1,948(+0.05%)
2020-11-10
65,889(+0.35%) 1,963(+0.77%)
2020-11-11
66,247(+0.54%) 1,965(+0.1%)
2020-11-12
66,632(+0.58%) 1,965(=)
2020-11-13
67,099(+0.7%) 1,972(+0.36%)
2020-11-14
67,526(+0.64%) 1,978(+0.3%)
2020-11-15
67,903(+0.56%) 1,979(+0.05%)
2020-11-16
68,356(+0.67%) 1,984(+0.25%)
2020-11-17
68,686(+0.48%) 1,995(+0.55%)
2020-11-18
69,058(+0.54%) 2,006(+0.55%)
2020-11-19
69,487(+0.62%) 2,010(+0.2%)
2020-11-20
69,802(+0.45%) 2,018(+0.4%)
2020-11-21
70,143(+0.49%) 2,022(+0.2%)
2020-11-22
70,461(+0.45%) 2,023(+0.05%)
2020-11-23
70,711(+0.35%) 2,022(−0.05%)
2020-11-24
70,930(+0.31%) 2,028(+0.3%)
2020-11-25
71,187(+0.36%) 2,033(+0.25%)
2020-11-26
71,494(+0.43%) 2,036(+0.15%)
2020-11-27
71,699(+0.29%) 2,043(+0.34%)
2020-11-28
71,942(+0.34%) 2,050(+0.34%)
2020-11-29
72,241(+0.42%) 2,052(+0.1%)
2020-11-30
72,544(+0.42%) 2,053(+0.05%)
2020-12-01
72,798(+0.35%) 2,069(+0.78%)
2020-12-02
73,066(+0.37%) 2,074(+0.24%)
2020-12-03
73,228(+0.22%) 2,080(+0.29%)
2020-12-04
73,491(+0.36%) 2,086(+0.29%)
2020-12-05
73,948(+0.62%[viii]) 2,099(+0.62%)
2020-12-06
74,246(+0.4%) 2,099(=)
2020-12-07
74,468(+0.3%) 2,099(=)
2020-12-08
74,682(+0.29%) 2,097(−0.1%)
2020-12-09
74,900(+0.29%) 2,102(+0.24%)
2020-12-10
75,203(+0.4%) 2,117(+0.71%)
2020-12-11
75,507(+0.4%) 2,120(+0.14%)
2020-12-12
75,756(+0.33%) 2,123(+0.14%)
2020-12-13
76,185(+0.57%) 2,124(+0.05%)
2020-12-14
76,449(+0.35%) 2,126(+0.09%)
2020-12-15
76,776(+0.43%) 2,134(+0.38%)
2020-12-16
77,197(+0.55%) 2,140(+0.28%)
2020-12-17
77,678(+0.62%) 2,143(+0.14%)
2020-12-18
78,254(+0.74%) 2,149(+0.28%)
2020-12-19
78,776(+0.67%) 2,154(+0.23%)
2020-12-20
79,542(+0.97%) 2,158(+0.19%)
2020-12-21
80,267(+0.91%) 2,158(=)
2020-12-22
81,228(+1.2%) 2,171(+0.6%)
2020-12-23
82,155(+1.1%) 2,184(+0.6%)
2020-12-24
83,073(+1.1%) 2,192(+0.37%)
2020-12-25
84,098(+1.2%) 2,194(+0.09%)
2020-12-26
85,394(+1.5%) 2,200(+0.27%)
2020-12-27
86,129(+0.86%) 2,204(+0.18%)
2020-12-28
86,894(+0.89%) 2,205(+0.05%)
2020-12-29
88,439(+1.8%) 2,213(+0.36%)
2020-12-30
90,157(+1.9%) 2,226(+0.59%)
2020-12-31
91,779(+1.8%) 2,237(+0.49%)
2021-01-01
93,532(+1.9%) 2,248(+0.49%)
2021-01-02
96,926(+3.6%[ix]) 2,252(+0.18%)
2021-01-03
101,887(+5.1%[ix]) 2,259(+0.31%)
2021-01-04
107,997(+6%[ix]) 2,265(+0.27%)
2021-01-05
113,322(+4.9%[ix]) 2,282(+0.75%)
2021-01-06
121,154(+6.9%[ix]) 2,299(+0.75%)
2021-01-07
127,657(+5.4%[ix]) 2,307(+0.35%)
2021-01-08
135,884(+6.4%[ix]) 2,327(+0.87%)
2021-01-09
140,727(+3.6%) 2,336(+0.39%)
2021-01-10
147,613(+4.9%) 2,344(+0.34%)
2021-01-11
152,539(+3.3%) 2,352(+0.34%)
2021-01-12
155,591(+2%) 2,397(+1.9%)
2021-01-13
159,144(+2.3%) 2,460(+2.6%)
2021-01-14
163,057(+2.5%) 2,488(+1.1%)
2021-01-15
166,548(+2.1%) 2,536(+1.9%)
2021-01-16
169,780(+1.9%) 2,595(+2.3%)
2021-01-17
172,726(+1.7%) 2,608(+0.5%)
2021-01-18
174,843(+1.2%) 2,616(+0.31%)
2021-01-19
176,839(+1.1%) 2,708(+3.5%)
2021-01-20
179,324(+1.4%) 2,768(+2.2%)
2021-01-21
181,922(+1.4%) 2,818(+1.8%)
2021-01-22
184,279(+1.3%) 2,870(+1.8%)
2021-01-23
186,184(+1%) 2,947(+2.7%)
2021-01-24
187,554(+0.74%) 2,970(+0.78%)
2021-01-25
188,923(+0.73%) 2,977(+0.24%)
2021-01-26
189,851(+0.49%) 3,066(+3%)
2021-01-27
191,182(+0.7%) 3,120(+1.8%)
2021-01-28
192,645(+0.77%) 3,167(+1.5%)
2021-01-29
193,892(+0.65%) 3,214(+1.5%)
2021-01-30
195,303(+0.73%) 3,292(+2.4%)
2021-01-31
196,547(+0.64%) 3,307(+0.46%)
2021-02-01
197,553(+0.51%) 3,317(+0.3%)
2021-02-02
198,424(+0.44%) 3,418(+3%)
2021-02-03
199,430(+0.51%) 3,512(+2.8%)
2021-02-04
200,744(+0.66%) 3,586(+2.1%)
2021-02-05
201,763(+0.51%) 3,621(+0.98%)
2021-02-06
202,548(+0.39%) 3,674(+1.5%)
2021-02-07
203,568(+0.5%) 3,686(+0.33%)
2021-02-08
204,397(+0.41%) 3,687(+0.03%)
2021-02-09
204,940(+0.27%) 3,752(+1.8%)
2021-02-10
205,939(+0.49%) 3,794(+1.1%)
2021-02-11
206,801(+0.42%) 3,846(+1.4%)
2021-02-12
207,720(+0.44%) 3,865(+0.49%)
2021-02-13
208,796(+0.52%) 3,931(+1.7%)
2021-02-14
209,582(+0.38%) 3,948(+0.43%)
2021-02-15
210,402(+0.39%) 3,948(=)
2021-02-16
211,113(+0.34%) 3,980(+0.81%)
2021-02-17
211,751(+0.3%) 4,036(+1.4%)
2021-02-18
212,647(+0.42%) 4,082(+1.1%)
2021-02-19
213,400(+0.35%) 4,109(+0.66%)
2021-02-20
214,378(+0.46%) 4,135(+0.63%)
2021-02-21
215,057(+0.32%) 4,136(+0.02%)
2021-02-22
215,743(+0.32%) 4,137(+0.02%)
2021-02-23
216,300(+0.26%) 4,181(+1.1%)
2021-02-24
216,870(+0.26%) 4,237(+1.3%)
2021-02-25
217,478(+0.28%) 4,271(+0.8%)
2021-02-26
218,251(+0.36%) 4,300(+0.68%)
2021-02-27
218,980(+0.33%) 4,313(+0.3%)
2021-02-28
219,592(+0.28%) 4,319(+0.14%)
2021-03-01
220,273(+0.31%) 4,319(=)
2021-03-02
220,630(+0.16%) 4,333(+0.32%)
2021-03-03
221,189(+0.25%) 4,357(+0.55%)
2021-03-04
221,649(+0.21%) 4,396(+0.9%)
2021-03-05
222,169(+0.23%) 4,405(+0.2%)
2021-03-06
222,699(+0.24%) 4,419(+0.32%)
2021-03-07
223,219(+0.23%) 4,422(+0.07%)
2021-03-08
223,651(+0.19%) 4,422(=)
2021-03-09
223,957(+0.14%) 4,452(+0.68%)
2021-03-10
224,588(+0.28%) 4,499(+1.1%)
2021-03-11
225,179(+0.26%) 4,509(+0.22%)
2021-03-12
225,820(+0.28%) 4,518(+0.2%)
2021-03-13
226,358(+0.24%) 4,534(+0.35%)
2021-03-14
226,741(+0.17%) 4,534(=)
2021-03-15
227,316(+0.25%) 4,534(=)
2021-03-16
227,663(+0.15%) 4,552(+0.4%)
2021-03-17
228,215(+0.24%) 4,566(+0.31%)
2021-03-18
228,796(+0.25%) 4,566(=)
2021-03-19
229,306(+0.22%) 4,576(+0.22%)
2021-03-20
229,831(+0.23%) 4,585(+0.2%)
2021-03-21
230,599(+0.33%) 4,587(+0.04%)
2021-03-22
231,119(+0.23%) 4,588(+0.02%)
2021-03-23
231,484(+0.16%) 4,610(+0.48%)
2021-03-24
232,164(+0.29%) 4,628(+0.39%)
2021-03-25
232,758(+0.26%) 4,631(+0.06%)
2021-03-26
233,327(+0.24%) 4,651(+0.43%)
2021-03-27
233,937(+0.26%) 4,653(+0.04%)
2021-03-28
234,541(+0.26%) 4,666(+0.28%)
2021-03-29
235,078(+0.23%) 4,667(+0.02%)
2021-03-30
235,444(+0.16%) 4,681(+0.3%)
2021-03-31
235,854(+0.17%) 4,687(+0.13%)
2021-04-01
236,600(+0.32%) 4,705(+0.38%)
2021-04-02
237,187(+0.25%) 4,713(+0.17%)
2021-04-03
237,695(+0.21%) 4,715(+0.04%)
2021-04-04
238,148(+0.19%) 4,718(+0.06%)
2021-04-05
238,466(+0.13%) 4,718(=)
2021-04-06
238,907(+0.18%) 4,727(+0.19%)
2021-04-07
239,325(+0.17%) 4,732(+0.11%)
2021-04-08
239,723(+0.17%) 4,737(+0.11%)
2021-04-09
240,192(+0.2%) 4,769(+0.68%)
2021-04-10
240,643(+0.19%) 4,783(+0.29%)
Sources: various news sources and state health department websites. See Timeline articles for sources.

Notes:

  1. ^ The 14-day incidence rate per 100,000 of the population is based on the 2016 census from the CSO.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Adjusted to include backlogged cases initially announced on 2020-04-10 based on the HSE operations updates.
  3. ^ The large increase in the death count on 2020-04-24 is due to the new inclusion of "probable" deaths, where a lab test has not been done, but a doctor believes the death is due to COVID-19.
  4. ^ The large increase in the cases count on 2020-05-14 is due to a reporting backlog from Mater Hospital, Dublin.
  5. ^ The large increase in the cases count on 2020-07-30 is due to a cluster at a dog food factory in Naas, Kildare and in cases related to the construction industry.
  6. ^ a b The large increases in the cases counts on 2020-08-07 and 2020-08-08 is due to a number of clusters and outbreaks in counties Kildare, Laois and Offaly resulting in the announcement of a three-week regional lockdown for the three counties.
  7. ^ The large increase in the cases count on 2020-08-15 is due to multiple clusters and outbreaks with secondary spread of disease in all provinces of Ireland.
  8. ^ The large increase in the cases count on 2020-12-05 is due to a technical issue that delayed uploading of laboratory results to the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC).
  9. ^ a b c d e f g The large increases in the cases counts from 2021-01-02 to 2021-01-08 is due to a reporting backlog of positive tests since Christmas that delayed formal reporting.

First Wave: February–August 2020[edit]

The NPHET, a group within the Department of Health, began monitoring the spread of the virus before it was confirmed to have reached Ireland.[52] According to The Irish Times, the NPHET for COVID-19 was created on 27 January 2020.[53] NPHET continued to meet after the virus had arrived in Ireland to co-ordinate the national response to the pandemic.[54] The Coronavirus Expert Advisory Group—a subgroup of NPHET chaired by Dr Cillian de Gascun, the UCD-based Director of the National Virus Reference Laboratory – met for the first time on 5 February in Dublin.[55][56][57]

In late February, the Department of Health stated that Ireland was in the Containment Phase of its strategy against the virus, though media briefings with such figures with Chief Medical Officer Tony Holohan were already underway.[58]

On 20 February, COVID-19 was added to the list of notifiable diseases legislated in Ireland. As a notifiable disease, COVID-19 was included among the list of diseases designated as "infectious diseases". Medical practitioners or laboratory directors, on becoming aware of a notifiable disease, should notify it to a Medical Officer of Health (Director of Public Health or designate) who subsequently notify HSE Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC).[49]

On 27 February, the first case on the island of Ireland was announced—a woman from Belfast who had travelled from Northern Italy through Dublin Airport.[59] Two days later, on 29 February, the first confirmed case in the Republic of Ireland was announced involving a male student from the east of the country, who had arrived there from Northern Italy.[5][60][61] Authorities shut a secondary school linked to the case as a precautionary measure.[60][62] The State did not name the school involved, but—shortly afterwards—the Irish Examiner's Political Editor, Daniel McConnell, tweeted a copy of the letter it had sent to parents informing them it would close.[63]

On 11 March, an elderly patient in Naas General Hospital in County Kildare (south-west of the country's capital city, Dublin) became Ireland's first fatality from the virus.[64]

Bags of books put out for collection at a primary school in March 2020.

On 12 March, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar announced the closure of all schools, colleges and childcare facilities until 29 March.[8] The announcement, which came one day after the World Health Organization formally declared that the outbreak was a pandemic, also marked Ireland's movement from the Containment Phase in its strategy to combat the spread of the virus (a strategy which the Department of the Taoiseach had reaffirmed just three days earlier) towards the Delay Phase.[65][66]

On 15 March, the Government of Ireland ordered bars and public houses to close and advised against house parties.[67]

On 18 March, detailed information about hospital statistics, age range affected, how COVID-19 was spreading, healthcare workers and cases by county was published by the National Public Health Emergency Team starting on this day. It showed that the virus was present in 23 of the 26 counties, with Laois, Leitrim and Monaghan the only three yet to record a case.[68]

On 26 March, 255 cases and 10 deaths were confirmed, bringing the totals to 1,819 cases and 19 deaths, more than double the previous day's total.[69] According to Chief Medical Officer Holohan, most of the deaths occurred in "institutional settings", i.e. hospitals and nursing homes.[70] At this point, deaths began to increase rapidly.

A garda checkpoint during the "stay at home" phase of the pandemic.
Porterstown Park in lockdown but people still visible in the park.

On 27 March, 302 new cases as well as 3 new deaths brought the total number of confirmed cases and deaths to 2,121 and 22, respectively.[71] Among the deaths was the country's first healthcare worker fatality, who was based in the east of the country.[72] Taoiseach Leo Varadkar announced a national stay-at-home order with a series of measures which he summed up as: "Stay at Home".[73] Merrion Street described it as "a more intensive phase in our response to COVID-19".[74] The measures, which coincided with an escalating death toll, were also a response to increased reliance on intensive care units (ICUs) to treat critically ill patients, and an attempt to lower this number before capacity was reached.[75]

On 1 April, it was announced that Chief Medical Officer Tony Holohan, who displayed signs of illness during the previous evening's news conference, had entered hospital for non-COVID reasons; Ronan Glynn (Deputy Chief Medical Officer and Head of the Department of Health's Health Protection Unit) took charge.[76]

On 10 April, it was reported that there was a discrepancy between the number of cases confirmed by Ireland's Department of Health and the ECDC, due to swab tests sent to Germany for analysis to clear the backlog and testing in Ireland.[77] Taoiseach Leo Varadkar announced that measures introduced on 27 March would be extended until at least 5 May.[78]

On 14 April, Minister for Health Simon Harris said between 25,000 and 30,000 tests had been sent to Germany and "well over" half of the results had been returned, with the remainder due back by next week.[79] The National Public Health Emergency Team said there would be a "real danger" of a second wave of virus cases, if the changing of restrictions was not done correctly.[80][81][82]

On 15 April, a further 657 cases, together with an additional 411 cases from the backlog of tests at the laboratory in Germany, and 38 deaths were reported, bringing the totals to 12,547 cases and 444 deaths.[83] Among the deaths announced, a 23-year-old said to be the youngest person to have died in the country at the time.[84] Also on this date, a spokesperson for the Ireland East Hospital Group confirmed the deaths of two healthcare workers, a man and a woman, at the same hospital in Kilkenny, the man having died at home the previous day and the woman having died in the hospital that day.[85][86]

On 16 April, the National Public Health Emergency Team reported that lockdown and other measures had driven the growth rate of the pandemic "as low as it needs to be" and was "close to zero".[24]

On 21 April, Chief Medical Officer Holohan announced that 8,377 people had recovered in the community and that 856 people were discharged from hospital. He also announced that the curve had flattened and that no peak would be coming.[25]

On 29 April, a further 376 cases and 31 deaths were reported, bringing the end of April totals to 20,253 cases and 1,190 deaths.[87] Holohan said, "We estimate that as of Saturday 25th April 12,222 COVID-19 cases (64%) in the community have recovered. 1,164 cases (6%) have been discharged from hospital which gives us a total recovery rate of 70%."[88]

A barber shop in Maynooth on Monday, 29 June 2020, the first day of the third phase of the lifting of public health restrictions.

On 1 May, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar announced the extension of the current restrictions to 18 May at the earliest.[18] A roadmap to easing restrictions in Ireland that includes five stages was adopted by the government and subsequently published online.[89][90]

On 15 May, Chief Medical Officer Tony Holohan announced seven children in Ireland had been identified with links to paediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome, a new illness temporarily associated with COVID-19.[91] The Government of Ireland confirmed that phase one of easing the COVID-19 restrictions would begin on Monday 18 May.[92] Among the heritage sites reopening under phase one were Cong Abbey, Farmleigh, Kilkenny Castle, Knocknarea, the National Botanic Gardens and Trim Castle.[93]

From 16 to 17 May, 156 cases and 25 deaths were reported, bringing the totals to 24,112 cases and 1,543 deaths.[94][95] At this point, cases and deaths began to decelerate.

On 18 May, the government's roadmap of easing COVID-19 restrictions began.[96]

On 31 May, a further 66 cases and 2 deaths were reported, bringing the end of May totals to 24,990 cases and 1,652 deaths.[97]

On 5 June, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar announced a series of changes to the government's roadmap of easing COVID-19 restrictions in Ireland, which he summed up as: "Stay Local".[98] The Government of Ireland confirmed that "phase two plus" of easing the COVID-19 restrictions would begin on Monday 8 June.[99]

On 19 June, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar announced a further re-configuration of the government's roadmap with hairdressers, barbers, gyms, cinemas and churches reopening from 29 June.[100][101]

On 29 June, phase three of the government's roadmap of easing COVID-19 restrictions began.[102] Remaining businesses reopened including all pubs serving food, cafés, restaurants, hotels, hairdressers, beauty salons and tourist attractions.[103]

On 30 June, a further 11 cases and 1 death were reported, bringing the end of June totals to 25,473 cases and 1,736 deaths.[104]

COVID Tracker contact tracing app released by the Health Service Executive (HSE) on 7 July 2020.

On 7 July, the Health Service Executive released the COVID Tracker contact tracing app that uses ENS and Bluetooth technology to record if a user is in close contact with another user, by exchanging anonymous codes, with over one million downloads within two days after its launch.[105][106][107]

Phase four of easing COVID-19 restrictions was initially scheduled to take place on 20 July, but was repeatedly postponed until 31 August at the earliest.[108][109]

On 31 July, a further 38 cases and no deaths were reported, bringing the end of July totals to 26,065 cases and 1,763 deaths.[110]

On 12 August, it was announced that the Government of Ireland intended to move away from the phases of re-opening the country, and switch to a colour-coded system planned by the National Public Health Emergency Team to indicate how counties, regions and the country as a whole are currently affected by COVID-19.[111]

Second Wave: August–December 2020[edit]

On 7 August, Taoiseach Micheál Martin announced a series of measures for counties Kildare, Laois and Offaly following significant increases of COVID-19 cases in the three counties, which came into effect from midnight and would remain in place for two weeks.[27][28][112]

On 18 August, following a Cabinet meeting at Government Buildings, the Government of Ireland announced six new measures because of the growing number of confirmed cases, which remained in place until 15 September.[113][114][115]

On 21 August, the Government of Ireland announced that COVID-19 restrictions in counties Laois and Offaly were lifted but were extended for another two weeks in Kildare.[116][117]

On 31 August, the Government of Ireland announced the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions in County Kildare with immediate effect.[118][119] A further 53 cases and no deaths were reported, bringing the totals at the end of August to 28,811 cases and 1,777 deaths.[120]

On 15 September, Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl announced that the entire government would have to restrict their movements after Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly felt unwell and contacted his GP for a COVID-19 test.[121][122][123] Just after 9pm, it was announced that Donnelly tested negative for COVID-19 and that the government no longer needed to restrict their movements.[124][125]

Also on 15 September, the Government of Ireland announced a medium-term plan for living with COVID-19 that includes five levels of restrictions, with the entire country at Level 2 and specific restrictions in Dublin including the postponement of the reopening of pubs not serving food.[126][127]

Resilience and Recovery 2020-2021 - Plan for Living with COVID-19.png Resilience and recovery 2020-2021: Plan for living with COVID-19, announced on 15 September 2020.[128][129][130]

On 18 September, following an announcement at Government Buildings, Taoiseach Micheál Martin confirmed that Dublin would move to Level 3 restrictions from midnight and would remain in place for three weeks until 9 October.[131][132][133]

On 24 September, Taoiseach Micheál Martin confirmed that Donegal would move to Level 3 restrictions from the midnight of 25 September and would remain in place for three weeks until 16 October, with pubs remaining open for takeaway, delivery and outdoor dining to a maximum of 15 people only.[134][135][136]

On 30 September, a further 429 cases and 1 death were reported, bringing the totals at the end of September to 36,155 cases and 1,804 deaths.[137]

On 4 October, in a letter sent to the Government of Ireland, the National Public Health Emergency Team recommended the highest level of restrictions for the entire country – Level 5 for four weeks, following a NPHET meeting chaired by Chief Medical Officer Tony Holohan.[138][139][140] On 5 October, the Government rejected NPHET's recommendation to place the entire country under Level 5 restrictions, and instead moved every county in Ireland to Level 3 COVID-19 restrictions with improved enforcement and indoor dining in pubs and restaurants banned, which will come into effect from the midnight of 6 October until 27 October at the earliest.[141][142][143]

On 14 October, the Government of Ireland agreed a nationwide ban on all household visits from the night of Thursday 15 October, except for essential reasons such as childcare and on compassionate grounds.[144][145] Taoiseach Micheál Martin announced that counties Cavan, Donegal and Monaghan would move to Level 4 restrictions from the midnight of 15 October.[146][147][148]

After 1,205 cases—the highest number of confirmed cases recorded in a single day since 10 April—was confirmed by the Department of Health on 15 October,[149] on 16 October, the National Public Health Emergency Team recommended to the Government of Ireland to move the entire country to Level 5 restrictions for six weeks.[150][151][152]

70 minute queue from the Papal Cross to the Castleknock Gate of the Phoenix Park due to large visitor numbers.

On 19 October, the Government of Ireland agreed to move the entire country to Level 5 lockdown restrictions from midnight on Wednesday 21 October for six weeks until 1 December.[29][153][30]

On 31 October, a further 416 cases and 5 deaths were reported, bringing the totals at the end of October to 61,456 cases and 1,913 deaths.[154]

Third Wave: December 2020–April 2021[edit]

On 27 November, the Government of Ireland agreed the approach for easing restrictions, including a phased move to Level 3 restrictions nationally from midnight on Tuesday 1 December, with a number of exceptions in place for the Christmas period from 18 December.[155][156][37]

  • From 1 December:[157][158]
    • Non-essential retail, hairdressers, gyms, leisure centres, museums, galleries, libraries, cinemas and places of worship will reopen.
    • Households should not mix with any other households outside those within their bubble.
    • People should stay within their county apart from work, education and other essential purposes.
    • Face coverings will be recommended to be worn in crowded workplaces, places of worship and in busy or crowded outdoor spaces where there is significant congregation.
  • From 4 December:[159][160]
    • Restaurants, cafés, gastropubs and hotel restaurants may reopen for indoor dining with additional restrictions.
    • Pubs not serving food will remain closed except for takeaway and delivery.
  • From 18 December to 6 January 2021:[161]
    • Households can mix with up to two other households.
    • Travel outside of your county to be permitted.

On 30 November, a further 306 cases and 1 death were reported, bringing the totals at the end of November to 72,544 cases and 2,053 deaths.[162]

On 1 December, all non-essential retail shops, hair and beauty providers, gyms and leisure centres, cinemas, museums and galleries reopened after six weeks of closure.[163] Meanwhile, the Government of Ireland approved an advance purchase agreement for 875,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine produced by Moderna.[164][165][166]

On 4 December, thousands of restaurants, cafés, gastropubs and hotel restaurants reopened after six weeks of closure.[167][168][169]

On 17 December, the National Public Health Emergency Team recommended to the Government of Ireland that the period of relaxed COVID-19 restrictions from 18 December be shortened to the end of the year as COVID-19 cases rise.[170][171][172]

On 21 December, speaking at a COVID-19 press briefing, the Chair of the NPHET Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group Philip Nolan announced that a third wave of COVID-19 in Ireland is clearly underway.[173][174][175]

On 22 December, the Government of Ireland agreed to move the entire country to Level 5 lockdown restrictions with a number of adjustments from Christmas Eve until 12 January 2021 at the earliest.[176][177][178]

  • Under Level 5 restrictions:[39][40][41]
    • Restaurants and gastro-pubs must close at 3pm on 24 December (Christmas Eve).
    • Hotels may provide food and bar services to guests only after 3pm on Christmas Eve. Hotels may only open to guests for essential purposes after 26 December.
    • Up until 26 December (St Stephen's Day), visits from up to two other households will be permitted. Household visits will be reduced to one other household from 27 December.
    • From 1 January, no household mixing will be allowed except for compassionate, care or childcare reasons.
    • Non-essential retail will remain open but shops will be requested to defer January sales events.[179]
    • No new inter-county travel will be allowed after 26 December.
    • Personal services, including hairdressers and barbers must close.
    • Gyms, leisure centres and swimming pools will remain open for individual training only.
    • Schools will return as normal in January after the Christmas break.
    • Travel restrictions from the United Kingdom will remain in place until 31 December.[180]

On 23 December, in a statement from the National Public Health Emergency Team, the Chair of the NPHET Coronavirus Expert Advisory Group Cillian de Gascun announced that the new variant of COVID-19 in the United Kingdom is now present in the Republic of Ireland, based on a selection of samples analysed from the weekend.[181][182][183] Two days later on 25 December (Christmas Day), Chief Medical Officer Tony Holohan officially confirmed that the new UK variant of COVID-19 had been detected in the Republic of Ireland by whole genome sequencing at the National Virus Reference Laboratory in University College Dublin.[184][185][186] By week 2 of 2021, the variant had become the dominant strain in Ireland.[187]

On 30 December, the Government of Ireland agreed to move the entire country to full Level 5 lockdown restrictions from midnight until 31 January 2021 at the earliest.[188][189][190]

  • Under additional Level 5 restrictions:[191][192][193]
    • All schools to remain closed after the Christmas break until 11 January 2021. Childcare facilities and crèches to remain open.
    • All non-essential retail and services must close from 6pm on 31 December.
    • People must stay at home except for work, education or other essential purposes, and will be allowed to exercise within 5km of home.
    • Travel restrictions from the United Kingdom to remain in place until 6 January 2021.

On 31 December, a further 1,620 cases and 12 deaths were reported, bringing the end of 2020 totals to 91,779 cases and 2,237 deaths.[194]

On 2 January 2021, it was revealed that there were approximately 9,000 positive COVID-19 tests not yet logged on the HSE's IT systems, due to both limitations in the software; and lack of staff to check and input details, meaning there is an effective ceiling of approximately 1,700 to 2,000 cases that can be logged each day.[195][196]

On 6 January, the Government of Ireland agreed a number of new lockdown measures including the closure of all schools until February with Leaving Certificate students allowed to attend school for three days a week,[197][198] the closure of all non-essential construction sites with certain exceptions at 6pm on 8 January,[199][200] the requirement from 9 January for all passengers from the UK and South Africa to have a negative PCR test that they acquired within 72 hours of travelling[201] and the prohibition of click-and-collect services for non-essential retail.[202][203][204] One day after the announcement, the Government was forced to abandon plans for Leaving Certificate students to attend school on three days a week, and instead students will return to homeschooling along with other students until February, after the Association of Secondary Teachers, Ireland (ASTI) directed its members not to return to in-school teaching.[205][206][207]

On 7 January, the National Public Health Emergency Team confirmed that the backlog of cases due to a delay in reporting positive laboratory results have been cleared.[208][209][210]

On 8 January, in a statement from the National Public Health Emergency Team, Chief Medical Officer Tony Holohan confirmed that three cases of the South African variant of COVID-19 had been detected in the Republic of Ireland by whole genome sequencing associated with travel from South Africa.[211][212][213]

On 20 January, the St Patrick's Day parade in Dublin was cancelled for a second year.[214][215][216]

On 26 January, the Government of Ireland announced the extension of the Level 5 lockdown restrictions until 5 March, along with a number of new measures including a mandatory 14-day quarantine period for all people travelling into the country without a negative COVID-19 test, including all arrivals from Brazil and South Africa.[217][218][219]

On 26 January, Chief Medical Officer Tony Holohan confirmed that a further 6 cases of the South African variant of COVID-19 had been detected in the Republic of Ireland.[220]

On 30 January, Chief Medical Officer Tony Holohan announced that more cases had been confirmed in one month than throughout 2020 with over 1,000 deaths and more than 100,000 cases confirmed in January.[221] On the same day, the Director of the National Virus Reference Laboratory Cillian de Gascun stated that there was no significant transmission of the South African COVID-19 variant in Ireland as cases of the variant identified had been contained.[222]

On 31 January, a further 1,247 cases and 15 deaths were reported, bringing the end of January totals to 196,547 cases and 3,307 deaths.[223]

On 10 February, the World Health Organization praised Ireland's recovery from the third wave of COVID-19 but warned of the danger of a fourth wave.[224][225]

On 19 February, in a statement from the National Public Health Emergency Team, Deputy Chief Medical Officer Ronan Glynn confirmed that three cases of the Brazilian variant of COVID-19 had been detected in the Republic of Ireland all associated with travel from Brazil.[226][227][228]

On 23 February, Taoiseach Micheál Martin announced the extension of Level 5 lockdown restrictions for another six weeks until 5 April (Easter Monday) at the earliest as the Government of Ireland published its new revised Living with COVID-19 plan, which includes the phased reopening of schools and childcare and the extension of the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment and the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme.[229][230][231]

COVID-19 Resilience and Recovery 2021 – The Path Ahead, announced on 23 February 2021:[232][233][234] COVID-19 Resilience and Recovery 2021 - The Path Ahead.png

On 25 February, the Director of the National Virus Reference Laboratory Cillian de Gascun confirmed that the first case of the B.1.525 variant of COVID-19, first identified in the United Kingdom and Nigeria, had been detected in the Republic of Ireland, while a further four cases of the South African variant had been detected, bringing the total to 15.[235][236][237]

On 28 February, Ireland officially marked one year since the first case of COVID-19 in the country was confirmed on 29 February 2020.[238][239][240] A further 612 cases and 6 deaths were reported, bringing the end of February totals to 219,592 cases and 4,319 deaths.[241]

On 30 March, the Government of Ireland announced a phased easing of Level 5 restrictions from Monday 12 April, with people allowed to travel within their county, two households allowed to meet socially outdoors, people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 allowed to meet other fully vaccinated people indoors, and the resumption of all residential construction projects from that date.[242][243][244]

  • From 19 April:[245][246][247]
    • Elite-level senior GAA matches and training could resume
  • From 26 April:
    • Outdoor sports facilities (such as pitches, golf courses and tennis courts) could reopen
    • Outdoor visitor attractions (such as zoos, open pet farms, heritage sites) could reopen
    • Maximum attendance at funerals would increase from 10 to 25 on compassionate grounds
  • From 4 May:
    • Full reopening of construction activity
    • Phased reopening of non-essential retail and personal services
    • Religious services, museums and galleries could reopen and resume

Vaccines[edit]

COVID-19 vaccination in the Republic of Ireland began on 29 December 2020.[248][249] Annie Lynch, a 79-year-old woman, became the first person in the Republic of Ireland to receive the Pfizer–BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at St. James's Hospital, Dublin,[250][45][251] and received the second dose three weeks later on Tuesday 19 January 2021.[252]

Maura Byrne, a 95-year-old woman, became the first nursing home resident in the Republic of Ireland to receive the Pfizer–BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine on 5 January 2021,[253] while Dr Eavan Muldoon, an infectious diseases consultant, became the first healthcare worker in the Mater University Hospital to receive the vaccine.[254]

By the end of January, three effective vaccines of Pfizer–BioNTech, Moderna and Oxford–AstraZeneca were in use in Ireland.

Ireland reached the milestone of half a million COVID-19 vaccines administered on 6 March 2021.[255][256][257]

On 14 March, the administration of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine was suspended in Ireland as a precautionary measure following concerns over serious blood clots in Norway.[258][259][260] On 19 March, the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) recommended that the vaccine could continue to be used in Ireland following approval from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) on 18 March.[261][262][263]

Ireland reached the milestone of one million COVID-19 vaccines administered on 8 April.[264][265][266]

As of 7 April 2021, 716,636 people had received the first dose of a vaccine and 301,628 had received their second dose, bringing the total of vaccines administered to 1,018,264.[1]

Vaccinations figures for April 2021 (Updated weekly)[1]
Date 1st dose 2nd dose Total vaccinations % of population per dose
7 April 2021 716,636 301,628 1,018,264 14.62% (1st) 6.15% (2nd)
For vaccinations figures for December 2020–March 2021, see COVID-19 vaccination in the Republic of Ireland.

Testing[edit]

The developing and delivering of testing of Ireland was led by the staff in the National Virus Reference Laboratory. With the acquisition of the sequence of the virus, they used this to develop and validate in-house assays in advance of obtaining any commercial diagnostic kits. The NVRL played a vital role in the early detection of COVID-19 cases in Ireland,[267] and began playing a vital role in the detection of new variants of COVID-19 in 2021.

Testing figures for April 2021 (Updated weekly)[268]
Date Tests carried out Positivity rate %
5 April 2021 4,061,084 3.2%
For testing figures for 2020–March 2021, see COVID-19 testing in the Republic of Ireland.

Cases[edit]

Impacts[edit]

Economic[edit]

Like most countries in the world, the pandemic's emergence and the lockdowns it led to deeply impacted the Irish economy, causing it to plunge into a recession. While there were job losses in all sectors primarily due to stay-at-home orders, individuals working in tourism, hospitality, food and retail were most likely to be affected.

A COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment and a Temporary COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme were set up.

Social[edit]

The social impact of the pandemic had far-reaching consequences in the country that went beyond the spread of the disease itself and efforts to quarantine it, including political, religious, educational, artistic and sporting.

The 2020 Leaving Certificate, 2020–2021 Junior Certificate and all 2020 Irish language summer courses in the Gaeltacht were cancelled.[269][270][271] The 2020 Dublin Horse Show was cancelled, the first time since 1940 that the event did not occur.[272] The Tidy Towns competition was cancelled for the first time in its 62-year history.[273] The Rose of Tralee was cancelled for the first time in its 61-year history. The 2020 National Ploughing Championships and Ballinasloe Horse Fair also went. The All-Ireland Senior Football Championship and All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship were completed in December in between the second and third waves of the virus to hit Ireland, maintaining their record of having been held annually since 1887.

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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