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Department of Public Health Mid-West urges public to ‘not let guard down’

The Department of Public Health Mid-West is urging the public to not let it’s guard down in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic as the countdown to Christmas approaches.

As per the Government’s announcement, Level 3 restrictions, with some variations, have come into effect since this Tuesday, December 1, and will last until January, with special arrangements for Christmas.

Dr Mai Mannix, Director of the Department of Public Health Mid-West, said that while restrictions have eased, the public can still exercise the same precautionary measures in the coming weeks by following the core public health guidelines.

These guidelines include limiting social contacts, keeping a physical distance of two metres, wearing a mask, frequently washing hands, and adhering to proper cough and sneeze etiquette.

Services that will reopen include shops and retail, personal services (such as hairdressers), indoor cultural venues, and places of worship with a maximum capacity of 50 people.

Cafes, restaurants, and pubs operating as restaurants will reopen on Friday, December 4. No visitors outside the social bubble, and no travelling outside your county.

“We can prevent such outbreaks if we follow public health guidelines. Our priority is to ensure the people of the Mid-West enjoy a safe and healthy Christmas period after what has been an extremely difficult year.” Dr Mannix continued.

Caution: Dr. Mai Mannix has urged caution as restrictions lift

The Mid-West recently saw one of the lowest daily incidences of COVID-19 since the start of the ‘second wave’, with fewer than 40 cases between Friday and Saturday.

This is thanks to the vigilance of the vast majority of the public across Limerick, Clare and North Tipperary since the introduction of Level 5 restrictions.

“Though we are seeing a reasonably low incidence rate in the Mid-West at present, our team is still in the process of managing and controlling complex outbreaks and clusters in healthcare facilities, long-term residential care settings, extended families, private households, and among the student population.”

Special Christmas arrangements will come into effect on December 18. For more information, see www.gov.ie/SafeChristmas

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