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Kildare: Covid-19 restrictions extended for another two weeks

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image copyrightPA Media
image captionThere were no Covid-19 linked deaths in the Republic of Ireland on Friday, but 79 new cases were reported

Covid-19 restrictions which were imposed on people living in County Kildare in the Republic of Ireland have been extended for another two weeks.

Similar restrictions in counties Offaly and Laois have been lifted with immediate effect.

The local lockdowns were imposed earlier this month after spikes in coronavirus cases.

No deaths linked to Covid-19 were reported in the Republic of Ireland on Friday, but 79 new cases were reported.

People are not allowed into or out of County Kildare except for the following reasons:

  • To travel to and from work, where it is not possible to work from home
  • To attend medical appointments and collect medicines and other health products
  • For vital family reasons such as caring for children, elderly or vulnerable people - but excluding social visits
  • For farming purposes including food production and care for animals

Cafes and restaurants are closed except for takeaway and limited outdoor dining.

Other leisure and entertainment venues like cinemas, gyms and swimming pools are also shut.

The extension in County Kildare was widely expected, given the numbers of new Covid-19 cases have remained high since the restrictions were initially imposed two weeks ago.

In the past 14 days, there were 455 cases in Kildare, 81 in Offaly and 41 in Laois.

Speaking after a meeting of the Irish government on Friday afternoon, Health Minister Stephen Donnelly said in recent days the number of cases has stabilised and is falling, however, he said they are still high.

image copyrightPA Media
image captionIrish Health Minister Stephen Donnelly said schools in Kildare will reopen as planned next week

Mr Donnelly said the 14-day incidence rate in Ireland is 27 per 100,000, while in Kildare it is nearly 200.

He also said schools will reopen as planned in Kildare next week.

Abiding by restrictions has 'saved lives'

The Acting Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn thanked the people of Kildare, Offaly and Laois for complying with the health measures.

He said: "Your actions have saved lives.

"The epidemiological situation in Kildare means that we must extend the public health measures for a further two weeks.

"Evidence suggests that the measures are working, but more time is required to reduce the number of cases in Kildare."

Dr Glynn called for the Irish people to "show solidarity with Kildare", and follow public health advice to reduce social contacts, wash hands and wear a face covering in shops and on public transport.

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