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Carlow and Kilkenny are among the areas worst affected by Covid19

It's as up to ten new cases were confirmed locally however the number of patients being treated for the virus at St Luke's Hospital has fallan

As Carlow and Kilkenny remain in the highest five counties for their 14-day incidence rate of Covid19, two local areas are also tops with close to four times the nation’s figure.

Bagenalstown and Castlecomer are respectively the third and fourth in the country’s Local Electoral Areas at 326 and 305 per 100,000 population. Just Carndonagh in Donegal & Claremorris in Mayo are higher.

The newly released numbers are for the first fortnight of December, during which the Republic’s rate was just under 85.

Last evening, Carlow saw six new cases confirmed with up to four more in Kilkenny while 23 patients with the virus were being treated at St Luke’s Hospital last night. Of those one had their diagnosis in the previous day while there are two further suspected cases.


NPHET has recommended the closure of restaurants and gastropubs before the New Year as part of efforts to deal with rising rates of Covid19.

From today, people can travel outside their county and three different households can meet indoors.

The measures were due to stay in place until January 6th, but NPHET wants household mixing limited to one other household shortly after Christmas.

The advice, including new restrictions for the hospitality sector, will be considered by cabinet next week.

Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan says they’re seeing large numbers of cases linked to outbreaks at places like workplaces, funerals and Christmas parties.

Health officials have warned we could see up to 1,200 cases a day by the second week of January based on the current trends.

484 new cases were confirmed last night, up to ten locally as outlined above, with three additional deaths, while the estimated 14-day incidence rate has risen to 94 per 100,000. Kilkenny’s though is at 190.5 with Carlow’s standing at 151.1

The reproduction rate of the virus nationally is now between 1.1 and 1.3 but could be higher.

Professor Philip Nolan, chair of NPHET’s modelling advisory group, says there’s a high risk of a surge in January – but it’s not inevitable.


The Irish Hotels Federation says the new restrictions would have a ‘profound’ impact on the sector.

Only one in every four hotel rooms are occupied this month, and only 8% have been booked for January.

IHF president Elaina Fitzgerald-Kane says the shortening of the Christmas window would worsen the situation.

There are six open Covid19 clusters in restaurants according to the latest report from the HPSC.

However, Restaurants Association of Ireland chief executive Adrian Cummins says there’s been no recent outbreaks, and they should be allowed to stay open into the New Year.

Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland’s entering a six-week lockdown from St Stephen’s Day.

The Stormont Executive has decided to close non-essential shops, and restrict the hospitality sector to takeaway only.

In the first week of the lockdown, households won’t be allowed mix and people won’t be able to leave their homes after 8pm.

Deputy first minister, Michelle O’Neill, says the measures are needed because of the Covid crisis.

The North’s health service will continue to be in crisis for the next few weeks despite the new lockdown, according to the British Medical Association.

Northern Ireland chair Tom Black says it will take time for the restrictions to have an effect.