Opposition TDs from the Midlands have highlighted what they consider "government failures" as Taoiseach Micheál Martin announced new coronavirus-related restrictions.
Kildare, Laois and Offaly went into Ireland's first regional lockdown last night after there had been 289 confirmed cases of coronavirus recorded in over the last 14 days.
The increase in cases in the region is linked to clusters at direct provision centers and meat processing facilities.
The Movement for Asylum Seekers in Ireland (MASI) said a return to "overcrowding" in direct provision centres in July contributed to the virus spread.
Réada Cronin, Sinn Féin TD for North Kildare said "we are all paying the price" for government failures in fighting the pandemic.
"Family businesses and employers (are) devastated by tonight's news."
Catherine Murphy of the Social Democrats said there is a "real feeling that this could and should have been avoided".
Meanwhile, Fine Gael TD for South Kildare Martin Heydon said he called the Minister for Health and the acting chief medical officer "to highlight the frustration and implications of such a decision on our counties".
Mr Heydon described Friday as a "difficult day for residents and businesses in Kildare, Laois and Offaly".
Barry Cowen, Fianna Fáil TD for Laois-Offaly said that the National Public Health Emergency Team "don’t want to inconvenience people, they want to protect lives".
"No need to knock one another down with calls to stop this event or close another, simply follow ongoing and any updated professional advices on public health (and) be vigilant," he said.