DONEGAL IS to be moved to Phase 3 of restrictions due to a large spike in coronavirus cases.
From midnight tonight, the Republic's northernmost county will be placed on Level 3 of the Government's 'Plan for Living with Covid-19'.
New restrictions include a maximum of six visitors from one other household to a persons home, no social or family gatherings with some exemptions for funerals or weddings, and organised outdoor gatherings restricted to 15 people.
Donegal's estimated 160,000 population must not leave the county except for essential reasons, such as work or education; likewise, those who live outside of Donegal should not enter the county except for essential reasons.
As in Dublin, people working in Donegal are asked to work from home unless absolutely necessary, and public transport should be avoided if possible so that seats are available to essential workers.
Schools and other education settings will remain open, but higher education institutions are asked to "review protective measures and take steps to limit congregation as much as possible".
Donegal will remain in Level 3 for at least three weeks, in order to stem the spread of Covid-19.
The Stranorlar/Lifford area of Donegal has the highest 14-day incidence rate of Covid-19 in the country, with 336 cases per 100,000 people-- far above the national average of 76.5.
While Dublin and Donegal have been moved to Level 3, the rest of the country remains at Level 2, however experts have warned that cases are also rising in Louth and Waterford.