On Friday, 7 August, the Government announced public health measures for Kildare, Laois and Offaly to reduce the spread of Covid-19.
Following a Cabinet meeting today (Friday, 21 August) the Government has decided to continue the enhanced public health measures for Kildare and lift the measures in Offaly and Laois.
The decisions were based on the very clear advice of public health officials.
These limited restrictions will continue in Kildare until Sunday night, September 6, to allow the measures to take full effect.
People in Kildare will be asked to continue to:
- Restrict their movements to travel within their own county except for work or other essential reasons (including education)
- Limit their contacts to six visitors and no more than 3 households in their home
- Work from home unless absolutely necessary AND
- For those people at a higher risk from Covid-19 using their own judgement, are advised to stay at home and limit visitors except for essential care services
The following restrictions will apply to certain services in the county:
- Cinemas, theatres, museums, galleries, bingo halls and other indoor recreational, sports, dance and cultural outlets should remain closed
- Restaurants and pubs serving food should remain closed except for services to takeaway and deliveries and limited outdoor dining
- Nursing homes visits should remain suspended
Schools in Kildare will reopen as planned. The National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) has advised that schools by their nature are highly controlled environments and that significant guidance and protective measures are already in place to enable schools, in Kildare and nationwide, to reopen safely in the coming weeks. Children and teachers from Kildare can travel to other counties for the purpose of attending school.
Continued restrictions in Kildare will be very disappointing for people, communities and businesses in the county, but these measures are necessary to slow the spread of Covid-19 in this county. The government made this decision to try to prevent serious consequences and further, more widespread restrictions.
Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly TD said:
Two weeks ago, we asked the people of Kildare, Laois and Offaly to make significant sacrifices to help protect their families, friends and neighbours, and for the greater good of everyone in our country. Their efforts have saved lives. I know it is hugely difficult for people living in Kildare to be faced with continued restrictions, but the strong public health advice was that the level of transmission in Kildare right now remains too high and that any lifting of restrictions would create huge risk.
Acting Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn said
I know the continuation of measures in Kildare will come as a great disappointment to many. However, I want to emphasise the importance of the measures to date in protecting people in Kildare and I want to thank everyone for following the public health advice and ensuring that we suppress this disease once again. Your actions are working and, despite the large clusters of cases, have prevented significant community transmission – please stick with us for another two weeks.
Notes to editors:
Public health measures continuing for Kildare a period of two weeks.
· All people in Kildare should restrict their movements including limiting travel to within their county, other than for the following reasons:
- to travel to and from work, or for purposes of work and where that work cannot be done from home;
- to attend medical appointments and collect medicines and other health products;
- for vital family reasons, such as providing care to children, elderly or vulnerable people, but excluding social family visits;
- for farming purposes i.e. food production and/or care of animal;
- for education;
- No travel into Kildare, other than for exemptions (as above), and unless travel through these counties is for the purpose of reaching a destination outside of these specified counties (in this regard, people should not stop in Kildare, unless for essential purposes);
- People should not use public transport unless it is absolutely necessary to do so, and where possible should not share private vehicles with others from outside their household;
- All indoor gatherings including all types of household, private, family or social indoor gatherings of people to be restricted to a maximum of 6 people from no more than 3 households, while maintaining physical distancing. (For the first 2 weeks people in Kildare were asked to restrict to a maximum of 6 people from no more than 3 households in total, including those living in the home. This measure has been eased to reflect the national recommendation on such gatherings, which allows up to six visitors in the home);
- Outdoor gatherings to be limited to a maximum of 15 people, while maintaining physical distancing;
- Higher risk groups, using their own judgement, be advised to avoid public transport, stay at home and limit visitors except for essential care services;
- Cafes, restaurants and pubs operating as restaurants should close except for takeaway and deliveries and outdoor dining up to a maximum of 15 people with appropriate social distancing · Cinemas, theatres, museums, galleries, bingo halls, casinos, betting shops and other indoor recreational and cultural outlets should be closed;
- All workers should work from home unless absolutely necessary;
- Libraries may remain open;
- No sporting events or matches should take place. However, non-contact outdoor sports and training may continue subject to maximum of 15 people, contact sports should cease except for training for professional and elite athletes;
- Horse racing behind closed doors may continue; · Gyms, leisure centres, swimming pools, exercise and dance studios, sports clubs and similar venues should close; · School reopening preparations may continue;
- Childcare facilities may stay open;
- Outdoor amenities including playgrounds may remain open with appropriate social distancing advice;
- All retail may remain open but with strict adherence to public health guidance including the wearing of facemasks;
- Personal services such as hairdressers and barbers may remain open, subject to appropriate social distancing and public health measures;
- Prison, Nursing homes and acute hospital visits should be suspended, except on compassionate grounds;
- Hotels can remain open but must limit occupancy to essential non-social and non-tourist reasons.
- Places of worship may remain open for private prayer. Services should be delivered online or through other remote means;
- Funerals may take place with a maximum attendance of 25 persons;
- All other business, unless otherwise specified, may remain open, subject to appropriate social distancing and public health measures;
- Local Authorities remain available and ready to support communities in affected counties including through their community response teams to provide for supports to vulnerable of the community affected by these additional restrictions; All employees (other than some public sector employees who pay a modified rate of social insurance) and self-employed, including non-nationals and people living in Direct Provision, are entitled to claim and receive the special Covid-19 Illness Benefit payment. The quickest and easiest for way to apply is online at www.MyWelfare.ie