LATEST: Kildare lockdown will be lifted as soon as conditions allow - Acting CMO

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LATEST: Kildare lockdown will be lifted as soon as conditions allow - Acting CMO

Gardaí at a Kildare lockdown checkpoint

Lockdown restrictions in Co Kildare are being kept under "close review", the Acting Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr Ronan Glynn has said.

Speaking at the Special Committee on Covid-19 Response, Dr Ronan Glynn said that if a point comes where NPHET feel they can recommend lifting the restrictions, they will.

He explained that they want to get Kildare back aligned with the rest of the country as soon as possible.

Three meat processing plants in Co Kildare - which were shut down earlier this month after Covid-19 outbreaks among workers caused the first lockdown restrictions with Laois and Offaly - have begun a phased reopening this week.

The number of confirmed cases in Co Kildare peaked at 110 on August 7 but numbers have reduced since then and the figure dropped to 5 yesterday.

Kildare Chilling Co in Kildare town confirmed it began a ‘gradual reopening of its facilities’ on Monday.  O’Brien Fine Foods in Timahoe also began a ‘controlled phased reopening’ on Monday. Irish Dog Foods in Naas also said it expects to be fully operational this week.

According to the restrictions running until September 6, people living in Co Kildare should only travel within the county and the only exceptions include travel to work, to medical appointments and to collect medicines for vital family reasons, such as providing care to children, elderly or vulnerable people.
Businesses such as cafes and restaurants can only offer take-away food and allow 15 people dine outdoors.
Venues such as cinemas, theatres, leisure centres and betting shops are closed.

The Minister for Health told today's Oireachtas Committee that Ireland is at a "tipping point" and could be looking at anther national lockdown.

Stephen Donnelly said that flattening the curve of Covid-19 came at a huge cost and now Ireland is entering the second chapter.

In his opening statement he said the focus from now until Christmas will be suppressing the virus while reopening society.

He said last week the amazing efforts of Kildare, Laois and Offaly showed that suppressing the virus through local efforts is possible.

Mr Donnelly also said that the easiest thing in the world for the National Public Health Emergency Team to do would be to close down all sports

He said that we have to take this "deadly seriously" and it would have been quite reasonable for them to say that for the next three weeks to protect the country we have to stop sports.