IRELAND COULD be heading back into a full nationwide lockdown after health officials advised the implementation of the highest level of restrictions.
The National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) has recommended the government introduces Level Five restrictions across the entire country.
Under Level Five restrictions, the public will be asked to remain at home and work remotely, where possible, while excursions outdoors will be limited to exercise within 5km of home.
Bars, cafes and restaurants, including those based in hotels, will be required to close and allowed operate as takeaway venues only.
Essential retail outlets will be the only allowed to remain open while public gatherings and house visits would be banned.
Schools and creches would remain open but all sporting events, elite or otherwise, would be required to cease.
Funerals would be limited to 10 people while weddings would be allowed just six guests.
NPHET outlined its recommendations for stricter lockdown measures in a letter sent to the Government.
The leaders of Ireland’s three coalition parties — Micheál Martin, Leo Varadkar and Eamon Ryan — are due to meet with Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan to discuss the proposals.
A Government spokesperson said: “The recommendations have deep societal and economic ramifications.
“The leaders of the three Government parties will meet with the CMO tomorrow to discuss the recommendations.”
Dr Holohan chaired a lengthy NPHET meeting over the weekend to discuss the sharp increase in the number of Covid-19 cases being reported in Ireland.
In the past 24 hours, 365 more people tested positive for coronavirus while no further deaths were confirmed.
That brings the total number of infections to 38,032 since the pandemic began.
According to figures calculated by the chairman of NPHET’s modelling group, Professor Philip Nolan, cases could climb to as high as 1,300 per day nationally by the end of the month unless further restrictions are introduced.