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Households bans now in effect across Carlow, Kilkenny & the rest of the Republic of Ireland

Chief Medical Officer Dr. Tony Holohan says they are working on additional guidance for people who live alone

Household visits are banned nationwide as new Covid-19 restrictions came into effect overnight.

While Cavan, Monaghan and Donegal are now under Level Four restrictions, meaning shops that sell non-essential items are not allowed to open for four weeks.

In addition, no more than six people from two households can meet outdoors.

It comes as three additional deaths & 1,205 new cases were confirmed last night, eight of them in Kilkenny & six in Carlow.

Chief Medical Officer Dr. Tony Holohan says they are working on additional guidance for people who live alone noting “The challenge of being alone for a long, long period of time is a very difficult challenge socially, nobody wants to be in a situation where having to ask of the public that we don’t mix or meet up in other households given that we want to try make it as easy as possible for some people so we’re look at developing some additional guidance.”

The head of the state’s Covid-19 modelling group believes any link between household and school outbreaks would be identified.

Professor Phillip Nolan doesn’t think the rise in clusters in homes can be linked to the reopening of schools saying “Given the attention that will be paid to schools of the unexplained outbreaks in households it’s highly likely if there was some link between a school outbreak and a set of household outbreaks that public health would identify that because such careful attention is being paid to schools so there’s really no significant chance, both from the statistics and public health investigation, that there’s a link from schools & that number of household outbreaks”.

Meanwhile, there are concerns about the situation in cities with Cork South-Central and Galway City Central both having rates of more than 550.

While, Gorey in county Wexford has seen a rise of over 400 percent in the past week to have a rate of 533.

Lifford Stranorlar in county Donegal has risen in the past week to a rate of 610.

But it’s Ballyjamesduff in county Cavan that has the highest 14-day incidence rate than any other local area in the country at over 651.

A four-week lockdown in Northern Ireland begins at 6 o’clock this evening.

Pubs and restaurants will be forced to close, apart from for takeaways and deliveries.

Schools and colleges will shut for two weeks, but retail shops will remain open – unlike in Donegal, Cavan and Monaghan.

Elsewhere …

More parts of England could have tighter Covid-19 restrictions imposed later.

Lancashire could be moved up one of the UK government’s tiers, while there are still discussions about Greater Manchester, where local representatives are worried about the potential job losses.

Mayor of Manchester Andy Burnham believes the entire country should be moved up a level.

The UK’s Health Minister, Matt Hancock is encouraging the regional leaders to work with government.

Vaccine …

Early results suggest a Chinese Covid-19 vaccine could be safe – and draws an antibody response.

The research shows those aged 60 and over were slower to respond to the jab, compared with younger adults.

It found antibody levels to be lower in older people because the immune system weakens with age.

The drug remdesivir used to treat Covid-19 patients, has “no substantial effect” on their chances of survival.

The Financial Times reports it has seen the results of a clinical trial by the World Health Organisation.

Remdesivir was initially designed to treat Ebola and was one of a series of medications given to Donald Trump after he tested positive for Covid-19.