Up to five levels of Covid-19 restrictions will apply across the country under new plans being finalised by the Government.

The Cabinet sub-committee on Covid-19 met today to discuss the medium-term Covid strategy, which is due to be published next week.

It also considered new advice from the National Public Health Emergency Team, which met this morning.

It is understood the Government will not make a decision on NPHET's recommendations until Tuesday's Cabinet meeting.

The overall plan is due to be published on Tuesday and will set out a "living with Covid" plan for at least six months.

The medium-term plan is expected to set out a system of applying grades from one to five to parts of the country, along with an overall national grade.

One would be normal while five would be the most serious level, with the most severe restrictions applying including a possible lockdown.

It would set out clearly what restrictions would apply at each level for social gatherings, sport, travel and religious services.

There would be an overall national grade, along with grades per county or on an area or regional basis.

The key criteria for determining the grades would be the 14-day incidence rate of Covid-19 cases per 100,000 people, as well as the number of hospital admissions with the disease and the ICU admissions.

Reopening international travel will also form a key part of the plan with the Government likely to opt into the European Commission's new system of colour coded countries and regions.

That proposal would calibrate zones as green, amber or red based on Covid-19 rates along with a grey status if there is not enough information.

Travellers returning from green countries would not have to quarantine.

The co-ordinated EU plan would result in a colour-coded map of Europe which is updated weekly.


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The Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform said a new roadmap is necessary in order to live with the virus.

Speaking on RTÉ's Prime Time, Michael McGrath said the plan will bring a degree of certainty to businesses going forward.

The economy has substantially opened up, he said, but aviation has been devastated.

Pat Byrne, the Chief Executive of CityJet, said a colour-coded map of Europe would make a "huge difference" and he wants to see Ireland fully participating in it.

The Government has put the economy "into a coma" he said, adding that people should be trusted to get on with their lives while taking appropriate measures to curb the spread of the virus.

Also on the programme, Prof Sam McConkey said that while limiting the number of visitors to our households will make a difference, he expects to see more deaths, ICU admissions and hospitalisations in the coming weeks.

He said there should be faster testing, as well as ambulances with testing resources that can go directly to people.