Level 5 Covid Restrictions

  • The Cabinet is to consider moving the country to Level 5 restrictions for a period of six weeks.

    It comes after senior Government Ministers met with health officials today to finalise the details of new restrictions for the country.

    It had been expected a 'Level 4 plus' system would be placed on the entire country for a period of three or four weeks.

    However, the Government has since recommended moving the country to the highest level of restrictions.

    These would be in place until the end of November if agreed upon by Cabinet.

    They are meeting since around 4pm to consider the proposals and make a final call, with an announcement expected late this evening.

    The National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) had made the recommendation for a second time to move the entire country to the most severe level of the Plan for Living with COVID-19.

    Officials said the lockdown should last for six weeks.

  • As the present Level of Covid Restrictions are to be extended out until the 5th of March, the Administrator in Westport, Fr Charlie McDonnell says community and the spirit of “meitheal” in the parish remain strong and there is great hope that these difficult times will pass.

    Nonetheless, the current restrictions are hitting funerals and weddings particularly, he explains . With only ten people allowed to attend a funeral Mass, it makes a sad time even more difficult for those who are grieving. Just 6 people can attend a wedding under the present restrictions.

    Fr Charlie told Midwest News today that the goodness in community is reflected in an incident that occurred in the town on Friday last. A young man discovered a significant sum of cash at a local ATM machine and he brought it to the presbytery and whoever lost it, is encouraged to contact the presbytery to retrieve it.

    Speaking to Midwest News this lunchtime Fr Charlie gave his view on the impact of the extended Lockdown on parishioners and public worship.

  • Level 5 restrictions are now in place nationwide in an effort to stop the spread of Covid-19.

    It comes as the national 14-day incidence rate per 100,000 is now 291 - while Cavan's is in excess of 1,000.

    3 further deaths were confirmed last evening, and 1,167 new cases of the virus.

    This includes 71 new cases in Galway, 36 in Mayo, 18 in Sligo, 16 in Roscommon and 5 in Leitrim.

    Sligo has the 5th highest incidence rate in the country at 366 per 100,000 people, with Galway also above the national average at 327.

    Mayo has the lowest 14-day rate in Connacht at 207 cases per 100,000 people.

    The level restrictions will be in place for six weeks - with people not allowed to travel five kilometres from their home apart from essential reasons.

    All non-essential retail is closed, along with hairdressers, barbers, beauticians and gyms, while pubs, restaurants and cafes are takeaway only but schools, creches and construction are staying open.

  • The Level 5 restrictions will decimate trade at livestock marts, according to Roscommon-Galway Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice. 

    While online sales can still go ahead, Deputy Fitzmaurice says this cannot replace buyers around the ring, and says the restrictions could not have come at a worse time for farmers with weanlings to sell.

    He's raising the matter in the Dail this afternoon, to ask for revised restrictions for marts.

     

  • Gardaí will introduce more static and rolling checkpoints from today as part of the level 5 restrictions.

    The extension of Operation Fanacht will see Gardai continue their policy of policing by consent with enforcement only being used as a last resort.

    Training in the Garda College in Templemore will also stop so recruits can be released to help with frontline duties

    Gardai say that at any one time over the next six weeks they'll have over two and a half thousand officers on duty

    They' will also available for vulnerable people in the community who may need extra assistance during the increased restrictions

     

  • It's understood only senior inter-county GAA matches will be allowed to proceed under the government's Level 5 Covid-19 restrictions, which come into force tonight.

     

    The government had stated "No training or matches should take place, with the exception of inter-county gaelic games."

     

    However, reports this morning suggest that does not include games at minor or under-20 grade.

     

    The All-Ireland under-20 football final between Galway and Dublin had been fixed for Portlaoise on Saturday.

     

     

     

  • Teaching Unions are calling on the Government to explain why schools will remain open if the country is moved to Level 5.

    There are calls for a review to be carried out immediately on whether it's safe for children and staff to continue going to school.

    TUI President Martin Marjoram says his members are seriously concerned.

    Speaking to Midwest News today Ritchie Bell, the ASTI representative for Galway, Tuam and East Galway said the situation remains fluid, but he said that in his view, second level teachers, members of the ASTI, would reasonably expect government to take on NPHET advice.

    He added that if schools are to remain open through higher level Covid Restrictions than teachers and students need to know what additional safety measures will be put in place by government to ensure that schools are a safe environment.