IRELAND'S STRICT six-week lockdown has been a success, as Ireland now has the lowest incidence rate for Covid-19 in the EU.
Six weeks of Level 5 did not place Ireland in the ideal position projected by the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET), who had hoped for an average of less than 100 cases a day by December.
However the country's daily number of cases has dropped significantly, from around 1,200 per day at the beginning of lockdown to the 200's.
Yesterday evening, a further 5 deaths and 270 new cases were announced by the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HSPC).
The numbers sadly brings to 2,074 the number of people who have died from the virus since the pandemic began, and there have now been 73,066 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Ireland.
At 83.8 cases per 100,000 people, Ireland's incidence rate is the lowest in the EU, however Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan warned this should not lead to complacency.
"It is important to keep up the progress that we have achieved in recent weeks.
"Ireland now has the lowest 14-day incidence of COVID-19 in the EU according to the latest ECDC figures and we need to hold firm to this position.
"As the country moves into Level 3, there is no room for complacency in our response to COVID-19.
"When you are out in shops and accessing services, try to avoid high risk situations and wear a face covering when social distancing is not possible on busy streets and crowded outdoor areas. When you come home from shopping or being outdoors, remember that washing your hands is your first priority.
"For those of us who cannot work from home, the wearing of a face covering is now advised when moving around busy indoor workplaces and in communal work areas. If you are planning to travel around your county, consider first whether it is absolutely necessary to travel.
"Your individual actions are vital to our national effort to suppress the transmission of this disease."