The government have announced that level three restrictions will be imposed on Donegal from tonight following recommendations from the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET).
Speaking at a Government briefing this evening, Taoiseach Micheál Martin said based on the 14 day incidence rate in the county, he felt it was necessary to move Donegal to level three.
He said similar to Dublin, the level three restrictions will remain in place for a three week period starting from tonight until October 13th.
He did confirm however that unlike Dublin, pubs will still be allowed to have indoor dining because the data shows it is not spreading in these locations in the county.
Meanwhile, acting chief medical officer, Dr Ronan Glynn said Donegal now has the highest seven day and 14 day incidence rate per 100,000.
Yesterday, there were a further 30 cases confirmed in the county and overall 719 cases have been confirmed in Donegal since the beginning of the pandemic.
Earlier on Thursday, it was reported that the State’s public health team NPHET privately expressed concerns about the opening of pubs stating that alcohol has a “disinhibiting effect” on people.
At a meeting of the National Public Health Emergency Team in late August, health officials discussed how pubs and bars “pose a particular risk to the spread of Covid-19 as alcohol can have a disinhibiting effect on people and impair judgement.”
Minutes of the NPHET meeting show the team said that regardless of how “well-intentioned people are, it can impair their awareness of and ability to comply with social distancing and hygiene and respiratory advice”.
NPHET recommended last week that Dublin needed to be moved to Level three of the Government’s new five-level alert system for containing coronavirus and that pubs not serving food should stay shut when they reopened elsewhere in the country on Monday.
The Government also agreed with NPHET’s recommendation that pubs serving food, and restaurants, while staying open in Dublin could only serve customers outside.