Three border counties move to level 4

No visitors to homes nationwide
  • Deborah Condon

Three counties are to move to level 4 of the Government's COVID-19 plan from midnight tonight, while people in every county will no longer be able to have any visitors to their home or garden.

The new restrictions were announced by the Taoiseach, Micheal Martin, on Wednesday night.

Earlier that day, new restrictions had been announced for Northern Ireland, a move Mr Martin welcomed. He said that "the data coming out of the North is hugely worrying".

He emphasised that the virus does not recognise borders and the picture in the three border counties of Donegal, Cavan and Monaghan "is also very worrying".

For context, he pointed out that the incidence rate per 100,000 people in the last 14 days was 190.7, but in Monaghan it was 360, in Donegal it was 353 and in Cavan it was 571.

Mr Martin warned that the implications for local hospitals and health services in these areas were "very serious", and for this reason, Cabinet had decided to move these three counties to level 4 of the COVID plan.

For details on the restrictions applied in level 4, click here.

Meanwhile, while the rest of the country is to remain at level 3, additional restrictions have been announced. Mr Martin insisted that full implementation of level 3 could have a "significant impact" on the spread of the disease, "but only if everyone follows the rules, and in particular, follows the spirit of the rules".

"The truth is there are concerns following the full implementation of level 3. These concerns include poor application or adherence to measures in the area of home visiting, sports training and events, people going into the workplace when they could and should work remotely, as well as slippage in areas such as retail and personal services," he explained.

On this basis, the Government is introducing additional restrictions within level 3 on a national basis. These include:
-No visitors allowed to homes or gardens, except for exceptional reasons, such as looking after vulnerable people
-In outdoor settings away from the home, up to six people from no more than two households can meet while maintaining social distancing
-Sporting bodies will be told that if they cannot maintain protective measures in outdoor training, such training should cease.

For more on these additional restrictions, click here.

These new restrictions, both in the border counties and nationwide, will remain in effect until Tuesday, November 10.

A further 1,095 cases of COVID-19 were confirmed on Wednesday evening, bringing the total number of cases here to 45,243. Five more deaths were also reported, bringing the total number of deaths to 1,835.

The Department of Health's chief medical officer, Dr Tony Holohan, described these figures as "extremely concerning".

"Every single one of us has a role to play. We each need to reduce contact with other people as much as possible, so that means staying at home, working from home where possible, practicing physical distancing and stopping discretionary socialising," he said.


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