Lockdowns can lift in Laois and Offaly but must remain in Kildare, NPHET says

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Digital Desk staff

Lockdowns in Laois and Offaly may be lifted as planned on Sunday but restrictions must remain in Kildare, according to the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET).

NPHET has issued the advice to Government following its meeting today to consider if the current lockdowns in the three counties should be lifted as planned, political sources confirmed to the Irish Times.

The Cabinet has yet to sign off on the recommendations at a meeting tomorrow.

The localised lockdowns were first introduced two weeks ago in response to a surge in cases in the Midlands region, related to outbreaks of the virus in meat processing plants and direct provision centres.

NPHET's new recommendation comes as cases have remained high in Kildare, with acting chief medical officer Dr Ronan Glynn announcing tonight that of the 1,311 cases notified in the State over the past 14 days, 435 cases or 33 per cent were located there.

Just 6 per cent were located in Offaly, with 3 per cent in Laois.

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There were 136 new cases of Covid-19 confirmed by the Department of Health this evening, with 51 located in Dublin and 24 in Kildare.

It emerged today that public health experts have privately warned Government that a return to a full national lockdown may be necessary if the number of Covid-19 infections continues to rise, with the Republic seeing a recent sharp increase from 50 cases per week to now over 600 cases per week.

Laois and Offaly will still be subject to the same public restrictions limiting indoor and outdoor contacts with others that were announced by the Government on Tuesday.

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