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Carlow, Kilkenny & rest of country to fall under ‘enhanced’ Level Three restrictions

All visits to homes & gardens are banned, with some essential exemptions

From midnight tonight, Donegal, Cavan and Monaghan will be placed on Level Four restrictions until November 10th.

It means all non-essential retail will close, only key workers should travel to work, while gyms and hairdressers will close.

The entire country has also been placed on an enhanced Level Three, where all visits to homes or gardens are banned with some essential exemptions.

Only up to six people from two households can meet outdoors and the exemptions allowing club championships to continue have been removed.

It’s after the rate of new incidences of the virus continue to rise – see the latest figures here.

Remote Working …

Taoiseach Micheál Martin says there will also be more of a focus on working from home commenting “Early on in the early phase of this pandemic there was a considerable amount of people who worked from home, where it was possible, clearly over time many, many more are coming back in, the commute is up, look it’s time to go back to remote working, we know it works, it is possible, it would have a very significant impact in reducing transmission rates, in our view”.

Former HSE director-general Tony O’Brien says all the new measures are necessary due to the crisis across the island of Ireland saying “Given the incidence of Covid that we’re seeing now across all nine counties of Ulster I think it was entirely appropriate last night for the government to follow yesterday’s decision by the Northern Executive and escalate our protective measures in all of those counties, evidence does suggest that we’re dropping our guard when we’re meeting people in our homes, so asking people not to meet each other in our homes seems to be a sensible precaution as well”.

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar says everyone needs to pull together noting “Coronavirus is on the march across our country, community transmission is widespread in all counties so people whose county’s not been moved to Level Four shouldn’t think for a second that that’s any reason to relax, it’s more likely more counties will move to Level Four than the reverse happening”.

Hospital Numbers …

The number of people in hospital with Covid-19 came down last night from 234 to 214 while the number in intensive care remained at 30.

Head of the HSE Paul Reid tweeted that it’s ‘too early to be a trend but sometimes we need it.’

In Other Figures …

There were twice as many clusters of Covid-19 linked to schools last week than the week before.

There were 25 last week, compared to just 12 during the previous seven days.

There were also 352 clusters in private households last week, which is down slightly.

There was also a 76% increase in the number of cases of Covid-19 among Travellers last week.

44 new infections were reported in this community, compared to 25 the week before.

In Northern Ireland …

The Stormont executive is expected to meet later to discuss a financial support package for businesses in Northern Ireland forced to close due to new Covid-19 restrictions.

From tomorrow, pubs and restaurants will close for four weeks with the exception of takeaways and deliveries.

Beauticians, hairdressers and barbers will also have to close, and off licences will have to shut at the earlier time of 8pm.

Many businesses and industry bodies say they’re in desperate need of funding if they’re expected to survive.

The North’s Finance Minister Conor Murphy says the executive will consider how best to use the additional 220 million euro recently granted by the UK Government.

Elsewhere …

The UK Government has apologised to regional leaders who complained they weren’t getting enough information on Covid-19 restrictions.

One MP in the north west of England says he didn’t even get an invite to a meeting officials are having with the UK government later.

It’s to decide if Greater Manchester and Lancashire will be moved into the top tier – meaning bars will close.

Night-time lockdowns have been imposed on Paris and eight other cities, as a state of emergency has been declared in France.

President Emmanuel Macron’s announced a curfew between 9pm and 6am for the areas worst-affected by Covid-19.

People will not be allowed to go to restaurants or visit friends for four weeks starting from Saturday.

Areas include Ile-de-France and eight metropolitan areas – Grenoble, Lille, Lyon, Aix-Marseille, Saint Etienne and Toulouse.

Save the Children Survey …

Nearly 600 million children across the world completely missed out on financial support during the Covid-19 pandemic.

A survey by Save the Children has found more than 1.2 billion kids in low and middle-income countries are now living without proper access to education, food or water.

The charity claims 68 nations did not provide any additional support to families who were pushed into poverty.