Health officials are warning new Covid-19 restrictions in Kildare, Laois and Offaly could be extended to other areas.
People in the three counties must now stay within their own counties for two weeks, except for essential reasons like for work or medical appointments.
Regulations will be signed to put the regional lockdown on a legal footing while Garda checkpoints will enforce compliance.
It follows a recent outbreak of Covid-19 in the three counties – many in meat processing plants and direct provision centres.
Independent TD for the Kildare South, Cathal Berry, says a number of things now need to happen:
“We need to get a bespoke financial support package into these three counties, secondly we need to ramp up community testing, there were testing facilities here in the three counties only a couple of months ago and we just need to get them back up and running and thirdly if there’s not a national programme of testing in meat and food processing factories, we need to have one”.