Farmers can return to buying stock at marts from next week under Level 3 of the coronavirus restrictions.

From Tuesday 1 December, the country will be placed on Level 3 of the Plan for Living with COVID-19, the Government announced on Friday night.

As revealed by the Irish Farmers Journal last week, under Level 3 farmers can view stock in pens without prior appointment with the mart, subject to a minimum social distance of 2m.

The Department of Agriculture has said that these trading scenarios are subject to review and may change based on public health advice and COVID-19 data.

Mart managers will have to submit a new standard operating procedures (SOPs) on how the mart will operate at Level 3.

Households mixing and work

The Taoiseach Micheál Martin said that people must continue to stay within their county apart from work, education and other essential purposes until 18 December.

He said people should continue to work from home unless absolutely necessary to attend in person.

Farming remains classed as essential work and farmers can go outside of the county, if needed, to feed stock and carry out farm tasks.

Households should not mix with other households other than those within their bubble until 18 December.

On 18 December, the travel restrictions will be eased until 6 January where people can travel outside of their county and meet indoors with up to two other households.

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