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Government ‘accepts’ recommendations to clamp down on household visits

The National Public Health Emergency Team said people should continue to meet socially in other settings, but only with those from one other house.

THE GOVERNMENT HAS accepted recommendations from public health experts to introduce tighter restrictions on household visits.

The public health team advising ministers urged that a maximum of six people from a single household be allowed to go to another house, in all parts of the country.

The Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly said the Government has accepted the advice.

The National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) said people should be able to continue to meet socially in other settings, but only with those from one other household.

The clampdown on household visitors are being introduced to curb the spread of Covid-19 after more than 400 new coronavirus infections were detected yesterday.

Donnelly said he received a “very stark letter” from acting chief medical officer Dr Ronan Glynn after the Nphet meeting yesterday.

“Unfortunately, in spite of superb efforts by people across the country which are slowing the acceleration of the virus, it is still moving fast,” he told RTE Morning Ireland.

“We are now at 94 cases per 100,000. The five-day average, which is quite concerning, is now over 400 new cases per day.

“One thing I look at is the impact on our hospitals. We have seen a 30% increase in hospitalisations just in the past week.

“We are now at 119 people and the number of people going into intensive care is rising as well and unfortunately the evidence from across the world is, as those numbers go up, fatalities follow.

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“The R number is now about 1.3 which means the level of the virus is doubling every two weeks.”

He said that the primary mode of transmission is close contacts and the main clusters around the country are within households.

“What is spreading this virus more than anything is different households meeting up with each other,” Donnelly warned.

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