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New EU traffic light travel system comes into play as 14 new Covid-19 cases are reported across Carlow & Kilkenny

The majority of areas are coloured red

The European-wide traffic light travel system to deal with Covid-19 comes into place from this morning with the majority of areas in red.

Greenland is the only area within the green categorisation, while parts of Greece, Norway and Finland are in orange which means arrivals can skip quarantine if they test negative for the virus three days before coming to Ireland.

Every other area is red, meaning they must complete 14-days of isolation, which can only be stopped if there’s a negative test five days after coming into a country.

However, infectious disease specialist Professor Sam McConkey from the RCSI believes Ireland could move to status orange as early as next week.

The red, orange or green rating will be now be applied region by region.

Travel journalist Eoghan Corry says there’s still huge uncertainty about when continental Europe might open up.

Incidence Rate …

The estimated national 14-day incidence rate of Covid-19 has fallen to its lowest point in almost a month.

It now stands at 175 cases per 100,000 for the first time since October 12th.

Three counties now have a total of less than 100.

Carlow’s finally below the national figure with a rate of 170.4 while Kilkenny’s is at 141.1.

It comes as two additional deaths were announced alongside 542 new cases of the virus in Ireland last evening, eight of them in Kilkenny and six in Carlow.

Residents of a small Roscommon village outside of Athlone have been Covid tested as part of a pilot project.

A hundred thousand euro has been splashed on the programme, by the private company Roqu.

It provided the Antigen rapid result checks to locals free of charge over four weekends.

Global Figures …

There have now been more than 50million positive Covid-19 cases around the world since the pandemic began.

Johns Hopkins University’s tracker reported the landmark figure was passed yesterday.

Almost a fifth of all reported cases have occurred in the US.

More than 1.2 million people have died from the disease worldwide.

In Wales …

The 17-day Covid-19 lockdown in Wales has ended, however its unknown if it has worked.

Shops and pubs are allowed open there from today. while supermarkets can resume selling non-essentials, and people can meet other households in public places.

However, First Minister Mark Drakeford has admitted it is not known yet whether people’s sacrifices have reduced Covid-19 cases.