NPHET want Level 5 Covid-19 lockdown up to Christmas

BREAKING NPHET recommends Level 5 move for six weeks

However, the NPHET recommendation will put further political pressure on an escalation of restrictions. The situation is very serious. "When we respond it will be a comprehensive response".

Asked about the possibility of a nationwide move to Level 5, Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly said he did not "want to speak specifically about any recommendations", adding that he was "not at all surprised at what the data is showing".

It brings the number of cases to date to 46,429, and the number of deaths to 1,205.

The area has overtaken Lifford-Stranorlar in Donegal, which has risen in the past week to a rate of 610. "We want to have the situation well documented, well prepared".

Mr Varadkar said moving to level five restrictions would be "difficult" but did not rule it out.

"I think a second time can be hard for people, for businesses".

Four deaths were also reported up north within this period.

"The challenge of being alone for a long long period of time is a very hard challenge socially".

Level 5 restrictions should be rolled out across the country for six weeks, the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) recommended.

"The higher the community transmission the more hard it is to protect medically vulnerable people in all heathcare settings".

The recommendations were proposed to the Government via a letter - signed by Dr Holohan.

It comes less than two weeks since NPHET told the Government that a move to level 5 restrictions was necessary. The other 23 counties remain on Level 3.

It is due to be discussed at a meeting between Government and Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan.

Restaurants, pubs, retail and hotels: There can only be takeaway or food delivery services from cafes, restaurants, bars and pubs - including those in hotels.

No organized indoor gatherings shall take place and the maximum number of people permitted for outdoor gatherings is 15.

254 of the cases are in Dublin, 102 are in Meath, 88 are in Cork, 81 are in Cavan, 75 are in Galway with remaining 400 cases spread across 20 counties including Limerick.

As of 2pm today 246 COVID-19 patients are hospitalised, of which 30 are in ICU.

This morning the HSE's chief clinical officer and NPHET member Dr Colm Henry warned that the widespread uncontrolled community transmission of Covid-19 represented "the greatest threat to our healthcare services".

There has been a total of 1,841 Covid-19 related deaths and 47,427 confirmed cases in Ireland. Right now, we need everyone to cut their social contacts to an absolute minimum.

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