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Clare records less than five new COVID-19 cases for fifth successive day as country prepares for return to Level 3

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*Photograph: John Mangan

Level Five restrictions are to be eased from Tuesday while less than five new cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Co Clare in the latest figures from the Department of Health.

On Friday evening, the Department of Health confirmed 206 new cases across the country, less than five of which are in Co Clare. 64 are in Dublin, 23 in Limerick, 20 in Donegal, 18 in Cork, 14 in Louth, 14 in Meath, and the remaining 53 cases in 18 counties. The total amount of new cases is the lowest since September.

Co Clare has now gone five days in a row reporting less than five new cases in the daily updates from the Department.

An additional seven deaths have been notified to the Health Protection Surveillance Centre. Since the emergence of the virus, 2043 persons have died in the Republic of Ireland.

Following a five hour meeting on Friday, the Cabinet approved a plan that will result in the opening of all retail outlets, hairdressers, museums, libraries and gyms from Tuesday (December 1st) and the lifting of a 5km travel limit. Attendance at religious services will also be permitted from Tuesday along with the return of golf and tennis as part of the return to Level 3.

Restaurants and dining rooms in hotels will open on Friday (December 4th) along with pubs that have a kitchen and serve food. Takeaway drinks only will be allowed at ‘wet pubs’.

Nationwide travel has been sanctioned from December 18th until January 6th. Three households can gather together from December 18th.

Páraic McMahon is Head of News & Sport with The Clare Echo. The Newmarket-on-Fergus native also writes for national papers including The Irish Examiner, The Irish Independent and The Irish Times along with doing work for RTÉ, Today FM, TheJournal.ie and The42.ie. A graduate of Mary Immaculate College, Páraic was previously employed by The Clare Herald and Clare FM. If you have a story, tip or some feedback for him then send an email to - paraic@clareecho.ie

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