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NPHET bring forward meeting to consider whether or not the country should exit level 5 Covid-19 restrictions

It now takes place today

NPHET will meet this morning to consider whether the country should exit Level 5 Covid-19 restrictions next week.

The meeting is taking place a day earlier than usual, with Cabinet set to consider its recommendations ahead of an announcement tomorrow or Friday.

It’s expected Ireland will move to a modified level 3 next week with retail reopening – however, hotels and restaurants will be later in the month, and wet pubs will stay closed.

The Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has said a third lockdown may be needed in January because of celebrations over Christmas.

Professor of Public Health at UCC, Patricia Kearney, says government must work out how that can be avoided.

Six more deaths were confirmed in the Republic yesterday with 226 new cases of Covid-19, eight of them in Kilkenny with Carlow having four or less.

The estimated national 14-day incidence rate now stands at 107 cases per 100,000, it’s lowest point since October 3rd. Kilkenny’s is just above that at 107.8 while Carlow’s stands at 79.

Last night in hospitals there were 269 people with the disease, which included 37 confirmed cases in ICU.


France will start easing its Covid-19 lockdown this weekend as cases drop.

President Emmanuel Macron says by Christmas, shops theatres and cinemas will have reopened and people will be able to spend the holiday with their families.

But restaurants, bars and gyms will have to stay closed until at least the 20th of January.