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Government expected to announce new Covid-19 restrictions later following another record daily high which includes 30 new cases in Carlow & Kilkenny

1,283 incidences were announced last evening nationwide

New nationwide Covid restrictions will be announced by the government this evening.

It’s after 1,283 new cases were confirmed last night, 20 of them in Carlow bringing the total number of positive tests to 385 & while Kilkenny’s extra ten means the county’s seen 628 to date.

While you can see how each county is doing compared to the rest of the country here:

Cabinet Ministers are expected to sign off on a plan that will merge aspects of Level Four and Five of the current roadmap.

Meetings continued through the day yesterday assessing what the impact of enhanced restrictions will be on the country.

Inside government buildings they have been calculating how many people are likely to lose their jobs because of measures that will see most non-essential retail close.

Details of a second ban on evictions to last the duration of these restrictions were also being worked on.

The government is unlikely to accept the NPHET recommendation of Level Five for six weeks, instead implementing a Level Four plus for three or four weeks.

But a review at the end of that time means in practice it could be longer.

The government is examining social bubbles that would allow people to visit close family, provide care or check in with lonely and vulnerable people.

It’s likely pubs and restaurants will move to takeaway only with further travel restrictions also being considered.

Schools are expected to stay open with the importance of education being stressed this weekend along with needed supports for mental health and the risk of a further increase in domestic violence rates caused by another lockdown.

Ministers have also been discussing how to keep non-COVID healthcare functioning.

This morning a team of senior Ministers will meet again to finalise their opinion before presenting a plan to the full cabinet.

The full system of further restrictions will then be announced this evening.

Christmas …

The Covid-19 restrictions announced today need to last up to 10 weeks and longer in Dublin, according to a public health expert.

It comes as 1,283 people have tested positive for Covid-19, as the Republic’s new case numbers reached a new record for the second day in a row.

DCU Professor Anthony Staines believes people need to stop obsessing about Christmas saying it will happen no matter what Level the country is in.

Hospitals …

298 people with Covid-19 are being treated in Irish hospitals this morning, an increase of 24 since yesterday.

It’s the highest number of patients in wards since May 25th.

31 people with the disease were in intensive care units last night, according to figures from the HSE.

Schools …

Teachers want to know what ‘additional protections’ they are entitled to in Level Four and Five.

The Teachers Union of Ireland say they’ve been looking for clarity from the Government on how schools could continue to stay open.

It claims the Department of Education’s failing to tackle what counts as a close contact in school – which is causing huge stress for the people they represent.

General Secretary with the union, Michael Gillespie says they want to know exactly what the plans are for schools going forward.

Cluster …

One man infected 56 others with Covid-19 after not restricting his movements after returning from abroad.

The Irish Times reports that 10 other households and a sports team tested positive for the virus after coming into contact with this person.

A person he came into contact with, requested a Covid-19 test after developing symptoms – however later that day they felt better and went to a party – after which they tested positive.

Elsewhere …

Tougher restrictions are being brought in across Italy after Covid-19 cases increased to more than 10,000 a day.

The six-people in a group rule and table service will be mandatory in restaurants and bars after 6pm.

Regional mayors are also getting the power to close public spaces after 9 at night.