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Ireland to be placed in second lockdown for six weeks as coronavirus cases rise



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Ireland will be placed under the country’s highest level of coronavirus restrictions for six weeks.

The Irish government agreed during a Cabinet meeting on Monday to move the country to level five restrictions in a bid to combat the rise in cases of the virus.

The new restrictions will come into force from midnight on Wednesday and are set to last until December 1.

Chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan urged people to follow the government’s coronavirus guidelines.

He said: “If you have symptoms of Covid-19, if you are waiting for a test result or if you are a confirmed case, you must self-isolate for 10 days from when you first develop symptoms. Self-isolation means staying in your room, away from other members of your household.

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“If you live in a house with a confirmed case, do not go to work or school. You must stay at home and restrict your movements for 14 days.”

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

A customer gestures as he sits outside a pub in Dublin on Monday (AFP via Getty Images)

But most non-essential retail, hairdressers, barbers and salons will have to close.

The public will be asked to work from home except for essential workers, and pubs, restaurants and cafes will only be able to provide takeaways and deliveries.

Funerals will be limited to 10 people. It is believed up to 25 people will be allowed to attend weddings.

People will also be asked to restrict their movements to within a five kilometre radius of their homes.

A formal announcement on the restrictions is expected later.

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It comes as a further 1,031 cases of Covid-19 were confirmed in Ireland by the National Public Health Emergency Team on Monday. 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.

Some 70 per cent of the cases were in people under the age of 45. The median age is 30 years old.

As of 2pm today, 298 people were in hospitals with Covid-19. These included 34 people in ICUs.

Earlier on Monday, Sinn Fein criticised the Government’s five-level roadmap for living with coronavirus, saying it had “caused enormous confusion”.

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Sinn Fein housing spokesman Eoin O Broin told reporters the roadmap was a “spectrum not a plan”, adding “that’s caused enormous confusion”.

He said: “What people need is a very, very clear plan. Not just a plan in terms of the new restrictions and the additional supports, but what we do on the other side of that.

“I do think the mixed messages from Government and the mid-level points in their plan have caused a lot of confusion.”

Additional reporting by PA Media.

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