Visits to other households will be banned for the entire country from tonight under strict new Covid-19 regulations.
he only visits that will be allowed are those for essential reasons – such as childcare – or on compassionate grounds.
Up to six people from two different households can meet outdoors, but they must maintain social distancing of two metres.
Meanwhile, the Cabinet last night signed off on Level 4 restrictions for Cavan, Monaghan and Donegal. For these counties it means that, as well as a ban on household visits, weddings will be reduced to just six people and hairdressers and barbers will have to close.
Pubs and restaurants will be permitted to provide only delivery and takeaway services.
The move to Level 4 for Donegal, Cavan and Monaghan will come into effect from midnight tonight and will remain in place until November 10. The decision to increase restrictions in some of the Border counties follows the closure of hospitality businesses and schools in the North, where cases of Covid-19 continue to spiral. However, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar last night warned that other counties may join Donegal, Cavan and Monaghan on Level 4.
“It is more likely that more counties move to Level 4 than the reverse happening,” he admitted.
Speaking last night, Taoiseach Micheál Martin said the rest of the country would remain on Level 3, albeit with a new ban on household visits.
“The Government has decided that we must bring in additional national restrictions within Level 3 and these include, but are not limited to, no visitors to homes or gardens except for instances where care is being given and these will be made clear.
“Up to six people from two homes can meet outdoors while maintaining social distancing,” he said.
With regard to sport, the existing exemption which allowed for Club Championship games to be played behind closed doors has been removed.
Mr Martin said that if sporting bodies “cannot maintain protective measures in outdoor training, then such training should cease”.
On the issue of people travelling to work, he said: “We will be re-emphasising to businesses that employees should not travel to their workplace unless they absolutely have to.”
The Government will also try to steer many sectors away from the use of visors and towards face masks, added Mr Martin.
The Cabinet will next week look at a proposed slate of fines for breaches of the rules, aimed at bolstering enforcement.
The new restrictions come after 1,095 new infections were announced yesterday – a record number in a 24-hour period.
There were five more deaths from the virus.
Hospitalisations also increased and as of 2pm yesterday, 232 Covid-19 patients were being treated in wards, 30 of whom were in intensive care.
There were nine more patients admitted to hospital over the previous 24 hours.
Chief medical officer Dr Holohan said: “Today, we again report a daily new confirmed case figure over 1,000. This situation is extremely concerning. Every single one of us has a role to play.
“We each need to reduce contact with other people as much as possible. So that means staying at home, working from home where possible, practising physical distancing and stopping discretionary socialising.”
Dr Ronan Glynn, deputy chief medical officer, said: “People must recognise that the disease is a direct threat to themselves and their families. Now is the time for each of us to act.”
Cavan had the highest 14-day incidence rate in the country at 571 per 100,000. This was followed by Monaghan at 360 per 100,000 and Donegal at 353.7 per 100,000.
Yesterday’s new cases included 246 in Dublin, 185 in Meath, 128 in Cavan, 118 in Cork and 63 in Kildare.
The remaining 342 were spread across the rest of the country.
Source: Irish News