Tough Covid-19 restrictions on Laois, Offaly and Kildare
Tough restrictions on Laois, Offaly and Kildare will come into effect at midnight tonight, Friday August 7.
Residents will not be allowed to leave their own counties unless for specific reasons, among a range of closures to businesses.
The restrictions are to stay in place for two weeks.
Gyms, cafés, restaurants and pubs must close, with the exception of takeaways, deliveries and limited outdoor dining.
Indoor recreation including bingo halls, betting shops, cinemas, theatres and museums also must close.
Contact sports should cease, except for training for elite athletes and professionals.
There is a restriction on no more than six people meeting in households from no more than three households. Outdoor gatherings must have no more than 15 people for organised activities.
Visits to prisons and nursing homes will be suspended, except on compassionate grounds.
Retail can remain open, but with strict adherance to public health guidance, including the wearing of facemasks.
Childcare and schools that are open may remain open, and the preparation for schools reopening will continue.
Outdoor amenities including playgrounds will remain open, again with appropriate social distancing.
Public masses are suspended, with churches to stay open for private prayer. Masses to be held online, with a maximum of 25 at funerals.
People should not use public transport unless necessary.
Other people can move through Laois, Offaly and Kildare en route to other destinations in the normal way, but are asked not to stop.
Testing will be ramped up in affected sectors.
Those who can work from home should do so.
Continue to do the things that will protect yourself and others.
Frequent hand washing and practice cough and sneeze etiquette.
Keep a safe distance of two metres.
Minimise close contacts.
Wear a face covering on public transport and in retail settings.
Over 70s or medically vulnerable should limit interactions and stay at home as much as possible.
Full details are on www.gov.ie
The government met the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) to decide on the issue on Friday.
The announcement was confirmed by the Taoiseach Micheál Martin at a briefing at 6pm.
The decision comes after a rapid rise in numbers of confirmed Covid-19 cases in the three counties, largely due to cases in meat factories and in direct provision centres.
There had been 292 cases of Covid-19 in the last 14 days in the three counties, which account for almost half of all cases in Ireland during that period.