NPHET recommends entire country moves to Level 5 for six weeks
The entire country could be facing Level 5 restrictions until late November or early December.
The National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) has recommended to the government that the entire country move to Level 5 restrictions for a six-week period.
The recommendations were made by Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Tony Holohan in a letter to Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly.
While there are no plans for a Cabinet meeting today, it is expected that the NPHET recommendation will be discussed by government ministers and CMO Tony Holohan this morning, although Taoiseach Micheál Martin is not due to return from a meeting of the EU Council until later today.
It is also anticipated that a decision on what action to take on the back of the recommendations will be made in the coming days to avoid public uncertainty; earlier this month, a NPHET recommendation to move to Level 5 was leaked to the media before Level 3 restrictions were eventually introduced in the Republic of Ireland.
As of midnight on Thursday, Level 4 restrictions were introduced in Cavan, Monaghan and Donegal on account of the escalation in Covid-19 cases in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, while restrictions on household visits came into effect for the rest of the country.
According to RTÉ, the NPHET letter does not recommend the closure of schools and the government would consider tweaking a restriction on people not being able to travel more than five kilometres from their own homes.
A summary of the main restrictions that would apply under Level 5 can be seen here.