• 24 new cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed while one person infected with the virus has died, according to latest figures from NPHET.

    It brings the death toll in the Republic to 1,764 and the total number of cases to 25, 869.

    It comes as an Irish scientist leading the way in developing a Covid-19 vaccine says production may end up being very slow.

    In comments to the Independent today, Professor Adrian Hill from the University of Oxford says there will be high demand.

  • Public health officials say Christmas can be saved if the right measures are taken.

    The National Public Health Emergency Team meets again today and is  warning that cases of Covid-19 could exceed 1,000 a day in a matter of weeks and says we are now in a period of exponential growth.

    5 deaths were recorded yesterday, with 611 new cases of the virus - of which over 200 were in Dublin and 35 in Galway.

    The Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan said all key indicators of the disease have deteriorated further since Sunday - he said Covid-19 is spreading in our community in a very worrying manner and we have to break the chains of transmission.


    Latest county by county figures show Galway is now at 866 - a rise of 70 cases over 5 days.

    Mayo is on 675 confirmed cases - up 21 in 5 days.

    Roscommon's total has now hit 500 cases, with 218 in Sligo and 122 in Leitrim.

    There are currently 156 people in hospitals across the country with the virus - with 27 patients in ICU.

    There are currently no confirmed cases at Mayo University Hospital, while the Castlebar hospital is treating 4 patients with suspected Covid-19 at present.

  • The Government has asked health officials to consider speeding up the exit plan for the Coronavirus lockdown.

    The Taoiseach says Ministers have asked to move some of the phase 3 measures up to phase 2, which is due to start on Monday.

    Cabinet will make a decision tomorrow on whether to go ahead with that after medical advice from NPHET.

    Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said they are looking to move parts of the roadmap up.

  • The Government looks set to reject NPHET's recommendation that the country be moved  level five restrictions.

    Instead, it's understood every county will be placed on level three from midnight.

    There will also be proper monitoring and enforcement of those restrictions.

    The Cabinet is set to approve the measures at a meeting at 5.30pm.



  • The leaders of the three coalition parties will meet later today to discuss placing the country back into a six week lockdown.

    NPHET has recommended Level 5 restrictions for the entire country.

    1,000 new cases of Covid-19 and three more deaths were confirmed yesterday.

    75 of the cases were in Galway, 34 in Sligo, 26 in Mayo, 18 in Leitrim and seven in Roscommon.

  • The government won't decide until Monday at the earliest if it's going to put Ireland to level five public health restrictions.

    Talks at government buildings have wrapped up for the night after hours of briefings from senior public health officials.

    Speaking as he left the meeting, Green Party leader Eamon Ryan said the Goverment shares concerns around the increasing numbers, which he said are also occurring across Europe and the rest of the world.

    While no decisions have been taken, there is a growing expectation among some Cabinet ministers that the country will be moved to a higher level of alert in the coming days, but that it will fall short of the Level 5 for six weeks recommendation made by the NPHET.

  • The Government is denying any divisions with the National Public Health Emergency Team over coronavirus restrictions.

    A phased roadmap has been devised to slowly ease us out of lockdown, with some media reports over the weekend saying the Government and the National Public Health Emergency Team are divided over what should happen.

    But the Government's denied this is the case and has published a letter from the Chief Medical Officer showing Tony Holohan made the recommendations that have been implemented today.

    A spokesperson for the Tanaiste says both sides have an excellent working relationship.


  • The Government last night published its 'green list' of 15 countries, which have a similar or lower level of Covid-19 than Ireland.

    People arriving to Ireland from these countries will not have to restrict their movements for 14 days, and the list will be reviewed every fortnight.

    It does not include Spain, France or Portugal - which are the most popular holiday locations for the Irish.

    The countries on the green list are: Malta, Finland, Norway, Italy, Hungary, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Cyprus, Slovakia, Greece, Greenland, Gibraltar, Monaco and San Marino.

    In a statement, the Government said the pandemic is not over and the safest thing to do is not to travel.

    It Government also said it will continue with plans to strengthen the measures for monitoring passengers arriving into Ireland and processes will be explored to restrict flight or passenger travel in certain circumstances.

    The National Public Health Emergency Team advice remains against all non-essential foreign travel, regardless of whether a country is on the 'green list' or not.

    Ballygar-based GP Dr Martin Daly, a former president of the Irish Medical Organisation, says the list is not a good idea, as it sends out mixed messages....

  • Level 3 restrictions will come into force across the country from midnight tonight.

    That's after the Cabinet rejected a recommendation from the National Public Health Emergency team that would see the country moving to level 5 - the highest level of restrictions.

    The Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly has played down any rift between NPHET and the Government over implementing Covid restrictions.

    That's despite Tánaiste Leo Varadkar saying last night that the proposals from Dr Tony Holohan were "not thought through".

    The new restrictions will be reviewed by Ministers in three weeks time.



  • No counties will be moved up a level of restrictions today after a decision from NPHET.

    However, there will be further nationwide restrictions on visitors to people’s homes.

    The rules are to change meaning people can have no more than six people from ONE other household in your home at any one time.

    It's in a bid to reduce community transmission caused by gatherings in houses and apartments.

    There had been some speculation that Galway, Roscommon, Cork and Monaghan may have been moved up a level but that doesn't appear to be the case at the moment.

  • NPHET has recommended the entire country move to level five restrictions for four weeks.

    Government party leaders are set to meet the CMO to discuss it tomorrow.

    After a lengthy NPHET meeting this afternoon and evening public health officials have recommended putting the entire country back into a full lockdown.

    The meeting, chaired by CMO Dr Tony Holohan, said all counties should move to level five restrictions for four weeks in response to the escalating number of new cases.

    The recommendation has caught the government by surprise, and the Taoiseach, Tánaiste and Green Party leader will meet with Dr Holohan to discuss it tomorrow.

    They want to know why such an escalation is needed, given no such measures were deemed appropriate at NPHET's last meeting on Thursday.

    They're also conscious of the economic and social impact another lockdown would have.

    Under level five all pubs and restaurants would have to close and do delivery only.

    All shops except for essential retail will have to close, no social visits to people would be allowed.

    All but essential work must be done from home and people would be told to stay at home in all circumstances except for food shopping and exercise within five kilometres of your home.

    It's expected party leaders will meet the CMO tomorrow before the cabinet considers whether or not to implement the recommendation.

  • The National Public Health Emergency team will meet again tomorrow to decide if further restrictions are needed in four counties, including Roscommon and Galway, due to the rapid increase in Covid-19 cases.

    It comes as Roscommon's 14-day incidence rate per 100,000 population is now at over 99.

    In Galway, the incidence rate is now 65.5 and just under 30 per 100,000 in Mayo.

    In Donegal and Dublin - which are at level 3 of restrictions - the rate is now over 204 in Donegal and 156 in the capital.

    One further death was recorded yesterday evening from coronavirus, with 363 additional cases.

    This included 15 new cases in Co Roscommon, 14 in Galway and 5 in Mayo.

    There's also one confirmed case of Covid-19 being treated at Mayo University Hospital and one also at University Hospital Galway.

    Meanwhile, the HSE West is urging everyone across counties Galway, Mayo and Roscommon to continue their efforts to stop the spread of Covid-19.

  • The National Public Health Emergency Team will meet today to discuss latest Covid-19 trends - two weeks after level 5 restrictions were introduced nationwide.

    8 further deaths were reported last evening, with 444 confirmed cases of the virus - over one-third of the new cases were in Dublin.

    In this region, there were 36 new cases in Galway, 12 in Roscommon, 11 in Mayo, 6 in Sligo and less than 5 in Leitrim.

    The reproductive number of the disease is now believed to be between 0.7 and 0.9.

    The national 14-day incidence rate has fallen to 212 per 100,000 people.

    Sligo, Galway and Roscommon continue to have incidence rates higher than the national average, while the rate in Mayo is now 195 per 100,000 people - down from 257 a week ago.


    Public health officials say further efforts are required if the target of between 50 and 100 cases per day is to be achieved by 2nd December - when the level 5 restrictions are due to end.

    Last night, Taoiseach Mícheal Martin told his parliamentary party that the restrictions are unlikely to be lifted before then.


  • The National Public Health Emergency Team will meet later to discuss the deteriorating Covid-19 situation in the country's hospitals.

    Latest figures show there are 1,770 patients with the virus in hospitals, which includes 176 in ICU.

    Yesterday saw the second highest number of deaths associated with the disease with 63 reported - 56 of which occurred in January - while a further 3,569 infections were detected.

    This includes 200 new cases in Galway, 129 in Mayo, 27 in Roscommon, 14 in Sligo and less than 5 in Leitrim.

    In terms of 14-day incidence rates, Mayo remains 6th highest in the country, with a rate above the national average.

    All other Connacht counties have 14-day rates below the national average, which now stands at 1,448 cases per 100,000.

    The Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan says that, while we're seeing some early signs of progress with daily case numbers, there's still a "long, long way to go" in the fight against the virus.

    Dr Holohan has stressd that the best way we can support one another is to stay apart and stay at home.

  • The National Public Health Emergency Team will meet this morning to consider how the country should exit Level 5 Covid-19 restrictions next week.

    The meeting is taking place a day earlier than usual, with Cabinet set to consider NPHET's recommendations ahead of an announcement tomorrow or Friday.

    It's expected Ireland will move to a modified level 3 next week with retail reopening - however, hotels and restaurants will be later in the month, and wet pubs are expected to stay closed.

    As attention now turns to lifting level 5 restrictions, and what the festive season might look like, Sligo-Leitrim TD Marian Harkin asked the Government to ensure that people receive simple messages that are clear and unambiguous when it comes to guidelines around Christmas.

    The Independent TD said she did not want to hear about bringing your own plates or cutlery, or sitting Grandad near an open window, adding "if Covid doesn't get him, the flu might".

    Deputy Harkin insisted that straightforward messages were needed around the number of households that can meet up at Christmas, as well as the exact requirements for those travelling home.



  • NPHET has recommended the closure of restaurants and gastropubs before the New Year as part of efforts to deal with rising rates of Covid-19.

    From today, you can travel outside your county and people from three different households can meet indoors.

    The measures were due to stay in place until January 6th - but NPHET wants household mixing limited to two households shortly after Christmas.

    The advice, including new restrictions for the hospitality sector, will be considered by cabinet next week.

    Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan says they are seeing large numbers of cases linked to outbreaks at places like workplaces, funerals and Christmas parties.

  • A member of the National Public Health Emergency Team says people's behaviour is changing in relation to Covid-19.

    It comes as those testing positive for the virus has declined in the last seven days from 8.9 to 5.8 percent.

    New figures from the CSO show the average number of contacts per positive case was four in the week ending October 9th, that's down from six contacts per case four weeks ago.

    Dr Mary Favier, Covid advisor to the Irish College of General Practitioners, says we're moving in the right direction.

  • 248 more people have tested positive for Covid-19, and three more patients have died.

    The average 14 day infection rate now stands at 81.5 per hundred thousand people.

    There's been praise for a reduction of over 90 percent in cases among those aged between 19 and 24.

    There are eight new cases in Mayo with less than five in Galway, Sligo, Roscommon and Leitrim.

    NPHET modelling indicates the outbreak has stabilised -- though Professor Sam McConkey of the RCSI says infections seem to be falling a little.

  • The Head of the HSE says we need to 'call-out' behaviour that could significantly impact the spread of Covid-19.

    However he doesn't believe fining people is the right course of action.

    363 cases were confirmed in the country yesterday, and one more death.

    NPHET will meet tomorrow to discuss whether additional restrictions are needed in Galway, Roscommon, Monaghan and Cork.

    HSE CEO Paul Reid says it's not just gatherings of students that need to be criticised.

  • A member of NPHET says the coronavirus reproduction rate has risen to between 0.7 and 0.9.

    The HSE's also raised concerns that the recent progress in reducing the spread of Covid 19 has stalled.

    Health officials said the R number was around 0.6 last week - close to the target set when Level 5 was brought in.

    But HSE Chief Clinical Officer Dr Colm Henry says that's risen in recent days.