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Is Dublin heading for lockdown and what would it entail? Everything you need to know

By James Fenton

September 9, 2020 at 11:35am

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Dublin lockdown - the two words that everyone in the capital is dreading at the moment as cases of Covid-19 appear to rise every time we watch the news.

But is a Dublin lockdown a realistic scenario in a week when it was announced that all pubs will be allowed to open from September 21? And if the capital does face further restrictions, what form would they take and would they mean we'll be confined to our homes in much the same way we were earlier this year?

Both Taoiseach Micheál Marin and Tánaiste Leo Varadkar have been speaking this morning about the possibility of new Covid-19 restrictions coming into Dublin and Limerick, where cases are also high. While spikes in the two cities are causing concern, Martin said that "there haven’t been any recommendations from NPHET on restrictions for Dublin and Limerick at the moment."

However, Varadkar was speaking on Newstalk Breakfast this morning and suggested that there could be some restrictions on people visiting the homes of others, in a move that would be similar to one that was introduced in Glasgow recently.

The Tánaiste said: "They (the Scottish Government) took a decision, rather than closing schools again or closing childcare again and closing businesses again, that they would go really hard on gatherings within the home. That is an option that I think we'll have to consider. What I don't know is and what I would be interested to know from the experts is has that been effective in Glasgow?"

A 'local lockdown' in Dublin and/or Limerick wouldn't be the first of its kind after Kildare, Laois and Offaly all faced separate restrictions to the rest of the country last month. Those restrictions included working from home unless absolutely necessary, a limit of six visitors to a home and the requirement to restrict movements to one's own county except for essential reasons. Should a Limerick or Dublin lockdown come into place, it may affect the planned reopening of so-called 'wet pubs', as yesterday's Cabinet decision was made 'subject to local restrictions'.

A total of 307 new Covid-19 cases were reported across Ireland yesterday, with Dublin accounting for 182 of them. While no decision on new restrictions will be made until next week, Acting Chief Medical Officer Ronan Glynn has called on people to continue to adhere to physical distancing and to cut down on their social contacts.

On Tuesday, the Government is expected to publish its new nine-month plan on how to deal with Covid-19 going forward.

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