Ireland’s government goes against health authorities advice request for lockdown

REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Ireland’s Prime Minister Micheal Martin rejected a surprise recommendation by the country’s health authorities to shut down the economy immediately. Instead the decision taken was to tighten the COVID-19 restrictions in the country.

Ministers in Ireland faced sharp political and business resistance to what would have amounted to Europe’s first major second-wave national lockdown. The government moved the entire country to Level 3. This was the first time the government ignored the health authorities. The Prime Minister justifed his position that some businesses may not be able to recover from a disproportionate reimposition of more severe restrictions.

France on the otherhand reported a reduction in the number of COVID-19 cases on Monday. However the number of people hospitalised for the disease shot up by more than 300 for the first time since April. Paris is to be placed on maximum COVID-19 alert, meaning bars will be forced to close for two weeks from Tuesday, partly because of the sharp rise in the number of people in ICUs.

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 2,639 to 303,258

Italy is considering making the use of masks outdoors mandatory nationwide to fight the spread of the coronavirus, Health Minister Roberto Speranza said on Tuesday. “We are working on a proposal to make the use of masks nationwide compulsory,” Speranza said during a parliamentary hearing. After a steady decrease in daily cases during the summer, Italy saw new infections rising in the past weeks although its figures are still lower than those registered in other big European countries.