New COVID rules in force from today
What has changed?
- Personalised services that require closer contact than two metres are allowed again, with mandatory face masks. This means that barbers shops, hair salons, beauty and massage parlours, and similar can now open again, as well as driving and flying schools.
- Rehearsals, sports, youth- and after-school activities for children of pre- and primary-school age are all now allowed again, outdoors and indoors. There are no limits set on mixing between groups.
- Assemblies of pre-school children and children in years one to four can be up to 50, and up to 25 children in years five to ten may be in the same space.
- Children in years five to seven are now also exempt from face mask rules, and not only the younger years.
- Older students in further education (usually ages 16 to 20) can gather in groups of up to 25 (including staff), instead of the previous limit of ten. Staff and students must still wear face masks whenever it is not possible to maintain the two-metre rule.
- People who have had COVID-19 and recovered are exempt from face mask rules, as long as they have the official certification and personal ID to prove it. Many retailers and other establishments have already announced they will not change their policies. They say it is safer and more simple to continue to require everybody to wear masks.
What has not changed?
There are no other major changes at this stage. The assembly limit remains set at ten in most areas of society, swimming pools and gyms remain closed, licenced establishments that do not sell food also remain closed. Licenced establishments that do sell food, such as cafés and restaurants, must still close at 21.00 each evening.
The current rules are expected to run until the end of the 1st December, though authorities do keep them under constant review and could change them sooner. That is not considered likely at this stage, however.