Government ministers will meet this morning to discuss exiting Level 5 Covid-19 restrictions.
The national 14 day incidence rate is estimated to be 108 cases per 100 thousand, however both Donegal and Louth have rates of over 200. While Kilkenny’s is at 106.8 and Carlow’s stands at 75.5.
NPHET will meet tomorrow and is expected to be cautious in it’s approach to re-opening the country.
The Government would prefer to move directly to level three, with a decision expected on Thursday or Friday.
Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan says the situation is still volatile.
He added that good news around vaccines shouldn’t allow people to get complacent and appealed for people not to blame those who have let their guard slip.
Level 5 to level 3?
With regards to today’s Cabinet discussions, the expectation is that Ireland will move to level 3 with some changes.
While most retail will be allowed to open next week the debate still to be settled is around pubs and restaurants and to what extent they’ll be able to open.
The Taoiseach made positive noises about moving to level three yesterday, but warned there are settings including those involving alcohol that can be super spreaders.
Separately cabinet is also expected to approve new legislation from the justice minister making it an offence to share intimate images of someone without their consent.
That will carry a maximum jail term of seven years.
Cabinet will also hear an update on Brexit as key negotiations continue between the UK and EU.
And Ministers are expected to approve the decision for the government to oppose a motion of impeachment in Supreme Court Judge Seamus Woulfe.
A number of opposition parties including the Social Democrats are also likely to oppose the move from People Before Profit.
The numbers of locals on the Pandemic Unemployment Payment is fairly steady this week having only risen by ten across Carlow and Kilkenny.
9,232 people in both counties are getting the payment into their bank accounts this morning while 89 local workers have been able to sign off the payment this week.
3,070 people are also on the enhanced illness benefit because they’ve contracted the coronavirus or are medically certified to self-isolate.
Boris Johnson is to outline the UK’s plan for easing measures over Christmas later.
There’s expected to be a blanket approach across Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England.
It’s believed several households could be allowed to create a temporary bubble over a five day period.
But, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is warning people to be careful.