Into the New Year . . . and another lockdown

Non-essential retail outlets throughout the north west are opening for the final day for at least a month, as the country has entered its third lockdown.

Household visits were banned at midnight after the third record daily number of Covid-19 infections since Christmas.

Meanwhile, school holidays extended until the second week of January.

The measures are due to end on February 1st.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin says the Government will take a cautious approach to lifting them.

Yesterday 150 new cases of the virus were reported for County Donegal, with 66 in Cavan, 32 in Sligo and fewer than five in Leitrim.

For the past 14 days, there have been 828 cases in Donegal, 227 in Cavan, 178 in Sligo and 30 in Leitrim.

Nationally, 1,718 new cases of Covid-19 were detected in the Republic yesterday – the highest since the start of the pandemic.

The estimated national 14-day incidence rate of the disease is now 272, while Donegal and Monaghan have rates of more than 500 cases per 100,000.

Last night there were 466 people with the disease in the country’s hospitals.