Taoiseach Micheál Martin has announced that Dublin is moving to Level 3 of the Living with Covid plan from midnight tonight.

Mr Martin said that all across Europe the coronavirus is gaining a foothold and spreading at a rate not seen since March and April.

He said that in the past two weeks many countries have seen a ''doubling of new cases''. He said the threat of Covid-19 is growing ''on our island''.

Mr Martin added the capital is in a very dangerous place and that without action there is a real threat that Dublin could return to the worst days of crisis.

He said that from midnight tonight, Dublin city and county will move to Level 3 for three weeks.

This will include: Visitors to private homes including gardens from one household only, up to a maximum of six people; No indoor gatherings and outdoor gatherings up to a maximum of 15.

Restaurants and pubs serving food must close for indoor dining, but can stay open for takeaway and delivery or a maximum of 14 customers outdoors.

Visits to long-term residential facilities are suspended with the exception of critical and compassionate circumstances.

Mr Martin said those living in Dublin are ''advised to stay within the county unless to travel for work, education, and other essential purposes''.

The Taoiseach said people outside Dublin are advised not to travel to the county, except for work and other essential reasons.

Sports training can continue but only outdoors and in pods of up to 15. No gym classes can proceed.

No family gatherings can take place, except weddings and funerals up to a maximum of 25.

There is an exception for weddings this weekend. The reduction from 50 to 25 guests will not come into effect until Monday.

"I know the restrictions will make many people angry, but we have very clear advice that they will save lives," the Taoiseach said.

Mr Martin said as well as being ''Taoiseach, I'm also a father, husband, brother, sports fan and someone who likes a pint with my friends''.

He told the public that he knows how exhausting and infuriating it is for people as the Government tries to manage the virus.

Mr Martin singled out the hospitality and arts and culture sectors as being particularly affected. But he said the Government's main obligation is to protect the public.


Living with Covid plan


Mr Martin said that we must reduce the spread of the disease, stabilise the spread nationally, we did it before with Laois, Offaly and Kildare and we will do so again.

"As a nation, throughout our history, we have come through every manner of trial and hardship. And this too will pass," he said.

"The great responsibility that rests on each and every one of our shoulders is to do everything we can to make sure that when it does pass, we have brought as many of our families, friends and neighbours with us, alive and in good health, to enjoy the better and brighter days that lie ahead," he added.