Level 5 restrictions must be introduced for the entire country for a period of six weeks, as recommended by the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet).
The public health group led by the chief medical officer has called for the highest level of Covid-19 restrictions as concerns over the virus spread.
Level 5 restrictions will prevent people from traveling more than 5 kilometers from their homes, public gatherings other than small funerals or weddings will not be permitted, and bars and restaurants will only be allowed to provide delivery or take-out.
The recommendation comes less than two weeks after Nphet’s recommendation for controversial Level 5 restrictions. However, the government rejected Mr. Huluhan’s advice on that occasion as it did not believe the country was ready for a second lockdown.
Nafit met yesterday to discuss the escalating situation with the virus after the government banned home gatherings and imposed Level 4 restrictions in Kavan, Monaghan and Donegal.
The new Level 5 recommendation will be examined by senior civil servants this morning before the government decides what action to take.
A senior government source said he was not surprised by the recommendation given the large number of new cases, but insisted that the cabinet would decide what action to take. There is no scheduled cabinet meeting today, and Taoiseach Micheál Martin has attended in Brussels for the EU summit.
Yesterday, Nphet reported 1,205 new Covid-19 cases and three new deaths.
This included 288 new cases in Dublin, 173 in Cork, 123 in Meath, 97 in Galway and 63 in Cavan.
“There have been further increases across all major indicators of COVID-19 and the rate of growth of the epidemic has accelerated since Nphet’s last meeting,” said Mr. Huluhan.
“The cases reported during the past week increased by 82% compared to the previous seven days, from 3,514 cases to 6,382 cases. He added that the positivity rate over the past seven days is now at 6.2% and continues to rise.
CMO said the 14-day incidence rate among people over the age of 65 had increased from 92.9 per 100,000 residents on October 7 to 125 per 100,000 residents on October 14.
“The number of hospitalizations is increasing faster than the exponential growth modeling projected. This indicates a rapid deterioration in the course of the disease nationwide.”