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Ireland’s premier Micheál Martin has announced a regional lockdown in counties Kildare, Laois and Offaly following a surge in coronavirus cases.
Addressing the country, the Taoiseach said the virus was still a “deep and urgent threat”.
He said a number of limited restrictions will apply to the three counties for two weeks from midnight.
A ban on households mixing in homes or gardens in large parts of the north of England is to stay in place for at least another week, and has been extended into Preston, the health department has announced.
After a review by ministers and councils on Thursday, the decision was reached that with no sign yet of worrying levels of coronavirus infections falling, the restrictions would stay in place across parts of the north-west of England, West Yorkshire and Leicester, writes Peter Walker.