MORE areas of Ireland could be locally locked down in the coming months according to an Irish professor.
Paul Moynagh of Maynooth University said that the localised restrictions set up in Kildare, Offaly and Laois might not be a one-off, and that if coronavirus cases continue to rise and appear in clusters, more counties could be plunged back into lockdown.
"Let's say the lockdown period locally lasts for two weeks, and let's say we have another cluster one or two weeks after that," he said.
"So are we going to have repeated lockdowns maybe in locations that have a number of meat factories or have high risk premises? So that is something that I would worry about."
The warning comes after an Irish immunology expert stressed that the aforementioned local lockdowns already set up in Kildare, Offaly and Laois - which are due to be in place for two weeks - might be extended by up to six more weeks if Covid-19 cases in the area fail to drop.
"I can't see how two weeks will be sufficient to contain this," said Prof Tomás Ryan of Trinity College Dublin.
He stressed that while more people were currently wearing face masks than ever before, the general public are - on the whole - failing to adhere to physical distancing rules, which could see further spikes of coronavirus up and down the country.
Despite this, Prof Ryan said that localised lockdowns were a far better idea than locking the entire country down again, and suggested that having a 'traffic light' system of zones - green and red - would allow some counties to open up if they had not had cases for over two weeks.
"This system has been used in other countries and it worked very well. The evidence is that using the green zone system can flatten the curve," he added.