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Can I drive through Kildare? All your questions about the Midlands lockdown answered

By James Fenton

August 8, 2020 at 9:37am

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Last night, the Government announced new restrictions for Kildare, Offaly and Laois after the counties saw a spike in cases of Covid-19.

The new Midlands lockdown came into effect at midnight on Friday and is scheduled to last for two weeks. It means that residents of the three counties are asked to limit their movements and restaurants and bars should remain closed, except for providing takeaways or outdoor dining.

On Friday, the HSE announced 98 new cases of Covid-19 in Ireland, which include 35 in Kildare, 26 in Offaly and five in Laois. Garda checkpoints will be put in place across the three counties to ensure the public are adhering to the new regulations.

Everything you need to know about the Midlands lockdown can be found below...

If I live in one of the three counties, can I leave?

People can travel outside these counties for work purposes but only if they can't work from home. They can also leave for medical appointments, to provide care for family members or if caring for an animal.

Can I drive through Kildare, Offally or Laois?

Yes. People are allowed to drive through these counties on their way to another destination. You should not stop in these counties other than for essential purposes.

Is everything closed in these three counties?

Cafés, restaurants and pubs that serve food are required to remain closed unless they provide a takeaway service or provide outdoor dining facilities. Outdoor dining should be restricted to a maximum of 15 people with strict physical distancing. Pubs that don't serve food will remain closed, as is the case throughout the rest of the country.

Retail shops, hairdressers and barbers can remain open, however all cinemas, theatres, casinos, betting shops, bingo halls, gyms, leisure centres, swimming pools, exercise and dance studios are required to close.

Can I visit a friend in these counties?

People should only travel into these counties for essential reasons. Those living within the three counties should not leave their respective county unless for the reasons specified above. However, indoor gatherings of people who live in the same county are allowed - as long as they are restricted to six people from a maximum of three households.

The Government continues to advise the public to protect themselves and others by frequent handwashing and by practicing proper cough and sneeze etiquette. People should keep a distance of two metres and limit their social network. This advice applies to all counties in Ireland and you can find more information on the Midlands lockdown here.

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