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Restrictions to remain in place in Kildare for two weeks but lifted for Laois and Offaly

Over the last 14 days 455 cases had been reported in Kildare, 81 in Offaly and 41 in Laois.

A 'Stay Home' message on the Naas Ball.
A 'Stay Home' message on the Naas Ball.
Image: Sasko Lazarov/RollingNews.ie

THE GOVERNMENT HAS said the regional lockdown restrictions are to remain in place for Kildare for two weeks, but will be lifted as planned for Laois and Offaly.

The National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) met yesterday to discuss the progress made over the last two weeks. Recommendations made by health officials were discussed by Cabinet today.

This evening, Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly said that schools in Kildare will still re-open as planned. 

He also praised people living in Kildare for sticking with the government’s advice. 

“Your efforts are working, your efforts are saving lives and your efforts are preventing the sorts of measures being needed, that we all lived through, earlier this year,” Donnelly said. 

He also said that the number of new cases in the county has stabilised and is falling, but it still remains too high. 

“The number of cases per day, at 40, is about twice as high as it was two weeks ago. The measures are working, but they need more time,” Donnelly said. 

The measures in Laois and Offaly have been lifted immediately, with the current restrictions in place for the rest of the country now applying there. 

Acting Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn also praised the efforts of people in the three counties. 

“The country is safer now because you complied with measures,” he said. 

Residents in the three counties were told two weeks ago that they should not leave their county in a bid to prevent transmission of Covid-19. People were asked to only undertake essential travel for two weeks, such as to attend medical appointments, for vital family reasons, for farming purposes or to travel to and from work that cannot be done from home.

Restaurants and pubs were also told they could only operate a takeaway and delivery service. 

Over the last 14 days 455 cases had been reported in Kildare, 81 in Offaly and 41 in Laois.

Business

Enterprise Minister Leo Varadkar said the government will provide further assistance to businesses in Kildare following the decision to extend restrictions.

“I realise how disappointing today’s news will be for the people of Kildare.

“It has been a devastating few months for business owners, their staff and families.

“By extending these restrictions now, we will avoid further, more damaging measures later on,” he said. 

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Varadkar said they must do everything they can to protect people.

“The people of Kildare are making a sacrifice on behalf of the entire country.

“I recognise that and we are redoubling our efforts to help businesses.”

‘Under control’

Glynn told reporters that testing is currently being carried out at other workplaces in Kildare. 

“We need to see what comes of that testing,” he said. 

He also indicated that the four major outbreaks in the county in meat factories and Direct Provision centres have been largely brought under control.

With reporting from Dominic McGrath

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