NPHET has recommended the entire country be moved to level five coronavirus restrictions for four weeks.
Coalition party leaders are meeting with the Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan this morning to discuss the recommendation, ahead of an expected full Cabinet meeting to discuss the proposed measures.
NPHET met yesterday evening amid concerns over the growing numbers of coronavirus cases, with nearly 1,000 cases confirmed over the weekend.
A move to level five would be a significant escalation, as most of the country is currently only on level two restrictions.
🚨 NPHET has recommended the entire country move to level five restrictions for four weeks
⏱ Coalition party leaders meeting with the CMO tomorrow ahead of an expected full cabinet meeting
— Seán Defoe (@SeanDefoe) October 4, 2020
The recommendation has caught the government by surprise, and the Taoiseach, Tánaiste and Green Party leader will meet with Dr Holohan to discuss it today.
They want to know why such an escalation is needed, given no such measures were deemed appropriate at NPHET's last meeting on Thursday.
They're also conscious of the economic and social impact another lockdown would have.
Level five is the highest level of restrictions under the Government’s Living with COVID plan.
It would mean a range of restrictions - including the closure of all but essential retail; restaurants and pubs being limited to takeaway and delivery only; a limit of ten mourners at funerals; and no outdoor gatherings.
People would be asked to stay at home wherever possible and exercise within 5km of their home.
All but essential workers would be told to work from home.
However, schools and childcare facilities would remain open.