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NPHET recommends Ireland move to Level 5 for six weeks

by Erin Lindsay
16th Oct 2020

Government sources confirmed the recommendations to RTÉ today

The National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) have recommended to government that the entire country be moved to Level 5 restrictions for six weeks.

The recommendations are due to be discussed at a meeting between Government officials and Dr Tony Holohan today. Taoiseach Michéal Martin not due back to the country until this evening, however, it is expected that the issue will be decided upon in the coming days to avoid uncertainty.

It is understood that the NPHET recommendations do not include school closures.

Under Level 5 restrictions, people would be restricted to movement within 5km of their homes, except for essential reasons. Non-essential retail and services would be closed.

The news comes after Ireland recorded its highest daily number of positive cases yesterday, with 1205 new cases and three deaths. At last night’s Department of Health briefing, Dr Holohan said it was clear that the disease was not “in control”. “It’s fair to say we’re extremely concerned. Our sense is that things have accelerated – perhaps even beyond what we might have predicted a week or two ago,” he said.

This week, counties Monaghan, Cavan and Donegal were moved to Level 4 restrictions, while visitors to homes were restricted, except on compassionate grounds or for essential reasons like childcare or care for the elderly.

With widespread community transmission, Dr Holohan said it was no longer possible to “make the links” for a large portion of cases. If current trends continue, officials forecast that there will be up to 2,500 cases a day in Ireland by the end of this month, with 400 people in hospital and up to 110 in ICU.

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