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Ireland returns to level 3 lockdown on December 1st which will allow all retail to reopen along with hair salon’s, barbers, and gyms. Restaurants and gastro-pubs will be allowed to reopen at the end of the week. Level 3 means we’ll be restricted to our own county, but that restriction will lift from December 18 to January 6 to allow people travel to family in other parts of the country for Christmas.  There’s also going to be an easing on restrictions for visitors from other countries, they have to show a negative test within 3 days of commencing their travel and show another 5 days after arrival. They have to self isolate until the 5day test result returns. If you don’t won’t take a test you still have to isolate for 14 days. 
Ireland now has one of the lowest rates of infection in Europe but Northern Ireland is still dire. Our Tániste (deputy prime minister who happens to be a doctor) floated the idea of banning non-essential travel over the border because the rates in NI are so bad and a couple of the border counties here still have high rates compared to the rest of the country. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 12/11/2020 at 6:49 PM, MSUjohn said:

Covid19 is making me work three 16 hour days a week (plus 2 normal 8 hour shifts) with the possibility of a fourth 16 hour day.......its starting to kill me.

I’m soooo very sorry to hear — I can’t imagine how exhausting both mentally and physically it must be.  It’s small comfort when you are dealing with so much, but hopefully knowing that there are people who are doing what they can to mitigate by strictly following all health practices, and caring very much about the health and safety of healthcare professionals helps a little bit.    

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  • 1 month later...

Ireland has been under level 5 restriction since the start of the year, all non-essential retail closed except to handle online orders. No travel beyond 5km for non-Essential reasons. essential retail is now food, medicines or diy. 
we hit a peak of over 8 thousand daily cases a couple of weeks back. Thankfully it’s down to just over a thousand a day now with 1258 cases currently in hospitals , 181 of which are in ICU. Bear in mind our ICU capacity pre covid was 235 beds. 
At one point last month we had the worst numbers in Europe. The current rumours are that retailers will be allowed to offer click and collect again by mid-March and hopefully reopen by Easter.

The head of NPHET (the emergency covid medical team) said last week that he doesn’t expect international travel for holidays to be allowed this summer. He even seemed to suggest domestic travel outside our immediate areas may not be possible. 
The government hope to have all (willing) adults vaccinated by the end of September this year but the delays in the supply chain are putting that at risk.


One small hope for the pub owners is that some of them won a major case against one of the insurance companies that had denied them payment under the disruption of business section of their policies.  The high court ruled against the insurance company’s own interpretation of their policy. Only 4 pub owners brought the case but there are 13,000+ pubs with the same policy. Any pub that didn’t serve food has basically been closed since mid March of last year. Some of the rural pubs got to open for a few weeks in the summer but that was it. 
There is discussion within the government about introducing mandatory quarantine for people coming into Ireland, similarly to NZ and Australia. Germany has banned incoming travel from Ireland because the UK covid strain has been detected here. France has now instituted a requirement for truck drivers to show proof of a negative test result before they’re allowed to board ferries bound to France. 
 

Between Brexit and covid there is a significant snarlup in deliveries from the UK to Ireland which is causing extra stress to small businesses here. Amazon are now working on 2 distribution hubs and warehouse in Ireland as they’ve basically lost all their Irish business for products. The only things I buy from amazon UK now is kindle content and amazon prime video. 
 

It looks like my next holiday will be in 2022. 

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I am in NYC.  We had a terrible time of it in the early days of Covid.  Things have calmed down significantly since then in terms of Covid numbers, but the City is not what it used to be.  People are working from home, so there are few people working in the large office buildings in the Financial District and Midtown Manhattan.  This means that many of the businesses that catered to the people that worked there (restaurants, shops, etc.) are either hanging on by a thread or have shut down.  It means that many commercial landlords are not collecting rent, and that the City is having a difficult time collecting property taxes.  The domino effect is that the City has cut back on essential services, responding by doing things like laying off large numbers of people in the Sanitation Department.  In the summer and fall, it meant seeing the garbage pile up.  Now, it means the snow is piling up.  It's quite alarming.

 

There are a lot more things I could write, but I am hoping things turn around for NYC soon.  It's my home, and I love it.

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15 hours ago, ysolde said:

I am in NYC.  We had a terrible time of it in the early days of Covid.  Things have calmed down significantly since then in terms of Covid numbers, but the City is not what it used to be.  People are working from home, so there are few people working in the large office buildings in the Financial District and Midtown Manhattan.  This means that many of the businesses that catered to the people that worked there (restaurants, shops, etc.) are either hanging on by a thread or have shut down.  It means that many commercial landlords are not collecting rent, and that the City is having a difficult time collecting property taxes.  The domino effect is that the City has cut back on essential services, responding by doing things like laying off large numbers of people in the Sanitation Department.  In the summer and fall, it meant seeing the garbage pile up.  Now, it means the snow is piling up.  It's quite alarming.

 

There are a lot more things I could write, but I am hoping things turn around for NYC soon.  It's my home, and I love it.

We live on Long Island (NY) and the same is happening here.  So many family businesses and restaurants going out in our area.  My dd lives in NYC and 1/4 of the apts. in her building are empty.  Most of her friends moved out of city back to Long Island as they are working from home.  She began a new job last April, and has never seen her office or staff in person as she works from her apt.  Restaurants are re-opening indoor dining Friday to 25% occupancy and she can't wait.  Parking is nearly impossible between snow and restaurants taking up street space for outdoor dining.  More snow tomorrow, and several storms next week.  Enough already!

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On 2/10/2021 at 6:37 AM, pe4all said:

We live on Long Island (NY) and the same is happening here.  So many family businesses and restaurants going out in our area.  My dd lives in NYC and 1/4 of the apts. in her building are empty.  Most of her friends moved out of city back to Long Island as they are working from home.  She began a new job last April, and has never seen her office or staff in person as she works from her apt.  Restaurants are re-opening indoor dining Friday to 25% occupancy and she can't wait.  Parking is nearly impossible between snow and restaurants taking up street space for outdoor dining.  More snow tomorrow, and several storms next week.  Enough already!

We know a couple who moved from LI to Manhattan several years ago who just recently sold their apartment and bought a house on the island.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 2/9/2021 at 2:41 PM, ysolde said:

I am in NYC.  We had a terrible time of it in the early days of Covid.  Things have calmed down significantly since then in terms of Covid numbers, but the City is not what it used to be.  People are working from home, so there are few people working in the large office buildings in the Financial District and Midtown Manhattan.  This means that many of the businesses that catered to the people that worked there (restaurants, shops, etc.) are either hanging on by a thread or have shut down.  It means that many commercial landlords are not collecting rent, and that the City is having a difficult time collecting property taxes.  The domino effect is that the City has cut back on essential services, responding by doing things like laying off large numbers of people in the Sanitation Department.  In the summer and fall, it meant seeing the garbage pile up.  Now, it means the snow is piling up.  It's quite alarming.

 

There are a lot more things I could write, but I am hoping things turn around for NYC soon.  It's my home, and I love it.

I miss NYC- I would go in 5-6 times a year for Billy Joel and to see a show/play or go when the Phillies play the Mets. I was sad that my favorite hotel closed, a favorite pizza place in Penn station etc. Places like smaller movie theaters as well. 

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Likewise.... living in Philadelphia, it is an easy bus ride up to NYC. We were last up there to see the Alanis Morissette Broadway show. I hope to get back up there this spring for the day now that the buses are running again.  It’s a lovely city of endless exploration.

Edited by PhillyTravelBug
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  • 3 weeks later...

Got my second covid vaccine ten days ago. Here in Indiana even 30 year olds can get the vaccine now. Statewide mask mandate is lifted effective April 6th however Marion County(Indianapolis) is still keeping it in place. 

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Ireland still in Level 5 lockdown, only change since the turn of the year is that the primary (5-13yr old) school kids returned to class along with the last 2 years of secondary(high school).  The kids are all off for Easter break at the moment but when that finishes all the schools classes will return as will child care. 
 

From April 12th  construction on residential homes and childcare facilities can resume. It looks like late May at the earliest before we can even offer click and collect in our shop. So it’s online shopping for the next month+. 
vaccines have started rolling out but there’s been supply issues and our health service doesn’t have a central database of patients that can be used to priorities those at highest risk in an orderly fashion. I have 2 college classmates living in the USA and both got vaccinated in the past week. My mother here in Ireland got her first vaccine dose yesterday!  They’re also not letting people pick which vaccine to get despite some of them being contra-indicated for some medical conditions. 
 

There’s now political wrangling about whether visitors from more countries should be added to the mandatory hotel quarantine list. Currently the argument is about USA, France and Germany amongst others.  France has just announced another 4 week lockdown as the UK variant has gained ground on the continent.  Honestly at the rate the vaccines are rolling out in the USA I can see why there would be pushback against hotel quarantine for US visitors. 
 

As someone outside looking in the USA seems to be so much further down the road to getting past covid than anywhere in Europe right now. It is quite the change from this time last year. 

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I live in North Alabama, Huntsville.  Just returned from shopping at Walmart.  They no longer require masking.  Sign says: "Masks recommended".  Used to say "Masks Required."  Glad to see this.  Most shoppers were still wearing masks.  Don't know if they didn't see the sign.  May 10% were not wearing masks.

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2 hours ago, RocketMan275 said:

I live in North Alabama, Huntsville.  Just returned from shopping at Walmart.  They no longer require masking.  Sign says: "Masks recommended".  Used to say "Masks Required."  Glad to see this.  Most shoppers were still wearing masks.  Don't know if they didn't see the sign.  May 10% were not wearing masks.

I was grocery shopping Tuesday at Winn Dixie.  The employees sort of had masks on, 3 shoppers had masks on and about 20 shoppers and I did not.  Two school districts west of us in Alabama are not requiring masks after Spring Break.  

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14 hours ago, Keksie said:

I was grocery shopping Tuesday at Winn Dixie.  The employees sort of had masks on, 3 shoppers had masks on and about 20 shoppers and I did not.  Two school districts west of us in Alabama are not requiring masks after Spring Break.  

I've always felt that when Walmart dropped the mandatory masking, it was the end of it.  Of course, Costco is still firmly in the masking.  One of  their cashiers refused to check me out unless I moved my mask above my nose.  

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We’re down to 300+ new cases per day in Ireland, people definitely getting more lax about observing the restrictions. Vaccines are now being scheduled for those over 65. The over 70s and *very* high risk were in the previous round of vaccines. High risk are in the next group and after that it’ll be by age. 
The distance restriction for non-essential travel (aka exercise) has moved from 5km to anywhere within your home county or up to 20km from home if crossing a county border. The moment that got announced so many people just assumed clothes and sports shops would be open again so we’ve had many calls with customers where we’ve had to remind them nothing has changed for us as a non-essential retailer.

All our products for summer have been arriving in volume this past week, between covid and brexit everything’s arriving way later than normal. We had our doors open for a few hours on Thursday and Friday to take in deliveries, over 50 boxes between 3 suppliers and 2 more suppliers are sending stuff next week. 
Meanwhile  the village is full of people enjoying the ability to get to the beach for the first time since Christmas. One lady who came by while we were receiving a delivery commented that when she’d gotten her take-away fish and chips there wasn’t a single spot free to sit along the seafront so she went off to a rock beach beyond the next village. 
 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Lockdown #3 is finally starting to lift.. all construction is back to work despite an outbreak at the Intel site in Leixlip. Also all outdoor workers can return to work, landscaper, painters etc... 
From May 10th

  • non essential retail can resume offering Click & collect as well as allowing customers in-store by appointment
  • barbers, hair salons, beauty salons, etc can resume by appointment
  • galleries, museums, etc can reopen
  • inter-county travel is allowed from May 10th
  • Public transport capacity increases from 25% to 50%

From May 17th all retail can reopen

from June 2nd accommodation providers can reopen and offer bar/restaurant services to guests only

From June 7th bars and restaurants can serve clients outdoors; gyms, pools and leisure centres can reopen for use of facilities without classes


I will say the business restrictions have barely been observed in my local area, most people figured out if you knock on the door of most locally owned shops you’d be allowed in. 
A few local bars were offering take-away pints during the sunny weather last week, you’d have thought it was the height of summer with the crowds on the promenade beside our shop along with the queues outside the bars serving drinks. 

I also unexpectedly got a call from my doctor’s practice offering me my first vaccine dose next week! My mother got her second dose last Wednesday which means both of us will have a reasonable level of protection when we reopen our shop to customers on the 17th. 
The vaccine roll out is finally gaining pace here which is why the government are easing restrictions despite daily case numbers still ranging from 300 to 500. (We had less than 100 a day last summer when the first lockdown lifted)

Pregnant women have been pushed up the priority list for vaccination as there’s been 10 times as many of them testing positive for covid this year compared to last year, the doctors are blaming the UK variant’s high transmissibility rate. There’s also been increasing concern of covid potentially causing still-births as there’s been quite a few more than normal. 

 

There are still ongoing arguments about the mandatory hotel quarantine for people flying into Ireland without being vaccinated. I’ll try to post updates as that evolves for anyone considering a trip to Ireland.  


if anyone hears anything about the USA easing restrictions on vaccinated visitors please share! I don’t want to book my flights for my cruise in February until I know whether I need to arrange covid testing too. 

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On 5/5/2021 at 8:10 PM, CptBoatface said:

WA state increasing authoritarian lockdowns with no end in sight. Because we have one man rule and unlimited emergency powers voted to him in 2019. 

How’s the vaccine roll-out/take-up going? I’ve a college classmate in WA and another in Colorado who got their first jabs about a month ago. The one in WA volunteers at a hospice so said that’s how she got it early. 
30% of Irish adults have now received at least 1 dose of a vaccine. The doctors are saying now they’re getting supply issues with J&J the same as there’s been with the Astra Zeneca vaccine. Pfizer and moderna are hitting their delivery commitments regularly now after their issues at the start of the year. 
I’m fairly sure everyone at the vaccine clinic I attended last night had underlying conditions (probably all asthma) as most were under the age of the general cohort at the moment. If I wasn’t asthmatic it would probably have been the end of the month before I could even book for an appointment, instead I’m getting my second dose June 2nd. 

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Until the president said everyone should have it available 2 weeks ago, this was being slowwalked. Felons and vagrants were priority before B%$#n spoke. Not even a projected time for sub 60 folks until then. Have had one Moderna shot after this change, scheduled for the next. I do think its moving along well. 

Edited by CptBoatface
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New twist in the vaccine discussion at work today, apparently you can’t have your hair coloured less than 2 weeks after the vaccine. Total dismay amongst the ladies running clothing boutiques who can’t get their colour done before reopening next week because most of them are in one of the categories getting vaccinated at the moment. The hair salons only reopened here on Monday, by appointment only. 
I have no clue why the vaccine might have a negative interaction with hair colouring but I’m guessing because both can cause allergic reactions in isolation they probably don’t want to risk them triggering a reaction in combination. I know my mother was still suffering from a reaction to her first vaccine dose for a couple of weeks so I suppose it’s reactions like that they want to avoid making worse. She was fine after her second dose and she’s passed the 2 week mark for that one now so she can safely book a hair appointment. 

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