NPHET recommends lifting of lockdowns in Laois and Offaly

NPHET recommends lifting of lockdowns in Laois and Offaly
People wearing face masks in Athy, Co. Kildare.

Cabinet is due to meet today to discuss advice from health officials on whether Laois, Offaly and Kildare are taken out of lockdown.

The local restrictions are due to end on Sunday.

It is being reported that the lockdowns in Laois and Offaly are to be lifted this weekend, while NPHET has advised restrictions in Kildare remain in place due to the large number of cases there.

Laois Chamber of Commerce chief executive Bernie Everard is "cautiously optimistic" the county will be taken out of lockdown on Sunday.

Ms Everard said: "This time last week Laois Chamber along with the councillors from Laois called for everybody to look at the numbers in Laois and consider taking Laois out of the lockdown regardless of how the other two counties are doing.

"So we are really happy that they have taken that on board and we are very hopeful that is the recommendation that has gone to the minister."

Political scandals aside Cabinet will need to discuss the ongoing situation in the Midlands.

In the last two weeks since lockdown was imposed, there have been 435 cases in Kildare, 81 in Offaly and 41 in Laois.

Kildare continues to see cases in double digits, with 24 new infections reported to NPHET yesterday.

Offaly is still recording cases, but in single digits, while Laois did not record a single new case, according to the latest figures.

Also up for discussion will be advice around visitation in nursing homes and residential care facilities, which NPHET says will involve "small changes".

It is understood any meeting of the Cabinet will be done remotely.

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