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Coronavirus Ireland: Kildare lockdown to be lifted this evening

THE lockdown in Co Kildare is being lifted with immediate effect.

Cabinet meeting this afternoon made the decision after the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) discussed the matter earlier today.

The extra Covid-19 restriction for Kildare were introduced after a spike in Covid-19 cases – many of which were related to meat processing plants.

They were previously extended and were not due to end until September 6.

The decision today means that people in the county face the same restrictions as the rest of the country.

A government statement said: “The National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) met earlier and reviewed the epidemiological situation in Kildare and confirmed that it continues to improve and is now broadly similar to that across the country.

“The number of cases attributable to community transmission or possible community transmission in Kildare over the past 14 days has been 36pc.

“Nationally, the community transmission or possible community transmission rate also stands at 36pc.”

The statement says there is no longer a rationale for a differentiated approach between Kildare and the rest of the country.

It added: “The Government recognises the very significant impact of the measures on individuals, communities and businesses in Kildare over the past three weeks, and acknowledges that the improved situation has been due to the willingness of everyone to adhere to the public health guidance and measures implemented.”

The statement said: “While the situation in Kildare has improved, the national situation remains uncertain and the Government continues to stress the importance of adhering to the public health advice and guidance to stop the spread of the virus.”

Meanwhile, the business community in Co Kildare is breathing a huge sigh of relief this afternoon after it was confirmed that the local lockdown in the county will be lifted.

Alan Shine, CEO of the Kildare Chamber of Commerce representing 390 local businesses, said: “The news of the lifting of the lockdown in Kildare is very welcomed by the business community here who have faced an unprecedented three weeks of economic disaster.”

However, he said the local economy isn’t out of the woods yet.

“Cash flow remains the number one concern for business. The conversation must start now as to how we live and work with Covid in the country until a vaccine is found. There is profound relief especially in the tourism, hospitality and leisure sectors where many employees have been let go and the hope is now that these businesses can start to trade immediately and get back to some kind of normality,” he said.

“Isolated lockdowns of immediate affected areas need to be the way forward as the blunt instrument of county wide lockdowns makes no sense at all and does not work.”

Online Editors

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