Ireland to enter highest level of Covid-19 restrictions for six weeks

19 October 2020, 20:06 | Updated: 20 October 2020, 01:03

Ireland will move to the highest level of Covid-19 restrictions under the Government's five-tier 'living with Covid' roadmap.
Ireland will move to the highest level of Covid-19 restrictions under the Government's five-tier 'living with Covid' roadmap. Picture: PA Images
Ewan Quayle

By Ewan Quayle

Ireland will move to the highest level of Covid-19 restrictions under the Government's five-tier 'living with Covid' roadmap.

Cabinet ministers have agreed to place the country under level 5 restrictions from midnight on Wednesday for six weeks in a bid to combat the rise in cases of the virus.

Mixing in private homes will be banned, while pubs serving only drinks, bars, cafes and restaurants can only stay open offer takeaway or delivery.

All non-essential retail will also be forced to close.

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Under the new measures it is understood schools and creches will remain open, and elite level sports will be able to continue.

It is understood vital work such as construction will be allowed to continue.

The decision was taken at a Cabinet meeting at Government Buildings in Dublin on Monday evening and restrictions will last until 1 December.

A further 1,031 cases of Covid-19 were confirmed by the National Public Health Emergency Team on Monday, bringing the total to more than 50,000 for the first time.

No new deaths linked to the virus were reported.

Of the new cases, 235 were in Dublin, 232 in Cork, 60 in Galway, 47 in Limerick, 47 in Kerry, and the remaining 410 cases were spread across 21 counties.

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As of 2pm on Monday afternoon, 298 people with Covid-19 were in hospitals - including 34 people in intensive care units.

Public health officials recommended moving to Level 5 restrictions on Thursday, but the Government decided to to move the whole country into Level 3 instead.

Currently counties Donegal, Cavan and Monaghan are at Level 4, while the rest of the country remains at Level 3 until blanket Level 5 restrictions come into force on Wednesday.