Coronavirus cases confirmed in west of Ireland
Tough new restrictions are expected to be put in place from midnight tonight to tackle the Covid-19 spike in Kildare, Laois and Offaly.
The three counties are expected to be put under a partial lockdown, according to national reports - with the Government expected to make an official announcement at 6.30pm this evening. This lockdown is expected to last two weeks.
There has been a huge spike in the number of Covid-19 cases in the three counties over the past fortnight - linked to outbreaks at meat processing plants in Naas, Kildare town, Timahoe and Tullamore.
Cafes, restaurants and pubs will likely have to close again, apart from takeaway and outdoor dining service.
Theatres, bookies and other cultural outlets may close, and gyms, leisure centres etc will also be expected to shut their doors.
People in Kildare will be asked to undergo only essential travel for work, for medical appointments or for vital family reasons. People from outside Kildare, Laois and Offaly will be told not to travel into the three counties, other than for essential travel. They will be able to travel through the counties, but not stop unless for an essential reason.
Sports events will be called off, it has been reported, but non-contact outdoor sports and training can continue for groups of up to 15.
Creches can remain open and schools can continue to prepare to open again in September.
Retailers will likely remain open as long as people wear face masks. Hairdressers and barbers are likely to remain open.
There are also likely to be restrictions on hospital and nursing home visits; hotel stays; church services and funerals.
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