Local lockdown in force in Laois, Offaly and Kildare

A local lockdown is in force in counties Laois, Offaly and Kildare.

The new restrictions were announced in an effort to stop the surge in COVID-19 cases in the region in the last two weeks.

For the next fortnight, locals will be advised to work from home where possible and not to travel outside their county.

Pubs, cafes and restaurants will be closed, while visitation in long term residential care centres and prisons has been suspended except in compassionate circumstances.

However shops and childcare facilities will remain open as long as they follow strict social distancing guidelines.

Taoiseach Micheal Martin said the government could have gone even further with the measures they imposed.