Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

16.17 22 Sep 2020


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A leading public health expert believes the whole country should move to level three coronavirus restrictions, with some counties moving to level four.

DCU Professor Anthony Staines says he would be recommending further restrictions if he was part of NPHET.

It comes as COVID-19 rates continue to rise across the country, with the incidence rate for Ireland now at 70.4.

New data has found Louth now has over 100 cases per 100,000 population over the last 14 days, with Donegal and Waterford now both also going above 90.

While Dublin rates have continued to rise, additional 'level three' restrictions have been in place for the capital since Friday evening - with every other county remaining on level two.

Professor Staines believes Dublin, Louth, Waterford and Donegal should now move to level four restrictions.

Level four would mean restrictions such as no visiting other households; only six people being allowed attend weddings; and gyms and leisure centres being forced to close.

Professor Staines suggested such a move would help bring the virus under control.

He argued: "We have got to get ahead of this virus - we cannot continue chasing this around the country, and [only intervening] when it starts rising out of control.

"We need to get ahead of this - if we do that, we could bring the virus transmission down, particularly in most rural areas, relatively quickly.

"It would be a matter of perhaps six weeks in a number of areas... Dublin will take substantially longer. But the longer we delay in taking action, the harder it will be to bring the virus back under control."

Main image: File photo. Picture by: Sasko Lazarov/Rollingnews.ie

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