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HomeFarming NewsLevel 5 Covid: Marts return to online-only sales
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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Level 5 Covid: Marts return to online-only sales

The government has today agreed that Level 5, as set out in the Plan for Living with COVID-19, will apply nationally.

This will come into effect at midnight tonight, 30 December for all measures.

Essential services

The following services relating to agriculture are deemed essential:

  • Farming
  • Farm labour
  • Farm relief services
  • Crop and animal production
  • Forestry
  • Veterinary, animal welfare and related services
  • The provision of support services relating to any of the services specified above (including artificial insemination and animal disposal)
Level 5 marts

“Marts held online with arrangements to facilitate weighing of animals, matching of stock between buyers and sellers, drop off of animals and buyers inspection of stock in the pens by appointment. Bidding process is online only.”


Non-essential retail and gyms, leisure centres and swimming pools will close on December 31st.

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Level 5 restrictions will remain in place until midnight on January 31st, 2021.

In a statement, the government said:

“The government has considered a number of factors in arriving at this decision, particularly NPHET concerns that the epidemiological profile of COVID-19 has continued to deteriorate very substantially.”

“It is recognised that this decision will have an impact on people’s lives and livelihoods. The clear message is that we must all now stay at home, with the exception of essential purposes, in order to stop the spread of the virus.”


Supports such as the PUP and the CRSS will continue to be made available to those impacted.

A double payment of the CRSS, up to a maximum of €5,000 a week will be available to those subject to restrictions this week and next week. Furthermore, businesses affected will be able to avail of commercial rates relief for the first three months of 2021.

The Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) is also available to help maintain people in jobs, along with extensive tax warehousing arrangements, reduced VAT rates, the spend and stay scheme, a range of reduced cost loans, grants and voucher schemes.

Air and passenger travel ban

The government further agreed that the ban on air travel and passenger travel on ferries from the UK will be extended to January 6th.

As a similar new strain has been identified in South Africa, this ban will also apply to South Africa until the same date.

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