New Covid-19 restrictions could be enforced in border counties to align with stronger measures in Northern Ireland.
The government is set to decide later today on whether to move Donegal, Cavan and Monaghan to a higher level of restrictions, the Tánaiste has said.
The virus incidence rate in Donegal, Cavan and Monaghan are among the highest in the Republic. The three counties’ proximity to Northern Ireland, where rates have spiked in the last two months, has been a cause for concern among health officials.
It is understood that Northern Ireland executive has agreed to close schools for two weeks from Monday and to increase restrictions for the hospitality and other sectors for the next four weeks. Details of the partial lockdown have not yet been finalised, but increased measures are expected in border counties to curb the spread of Covid-19 in the cross-border region.
“Once we find out for sure what the Executive has decided, government will respond to that,” Tanaiste Leo Varadkar told Pat Kenny on Newstalk FM this morning.
“We’ll see whether we need to take similar measures or what actions we need to take in relation to border counties.
“We do our best to align and cooperate with Northern Ireland as best we can but, as you know, the Northern Ireland Executive hasn’t favoured an all-island approach.
Mr Varadkar continued: “The incidence of the virus in Donegal, Cavan and Monaghan in particular is very very high so we’ll have to make a decision, probably sometime today, as to whether we need to respond with increased measures in the border counties as well.”