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As Dublin sees large rise, here's what a lockdown could look like

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The streets of Temple Bar were virtually deserted during the early stages of lockdown

The streets of Temple Bar were virtually deserted during the early stages of lockdown

The streets of Temple Bar were virtually deserted during the early stages of lockdown

The risk of a second nationwide shutdown to curb Covid-19 may be receding for now.

However, local lockdowns are seen as the best response to flare-ups of the virus which threaten to get out of control.

Dublin is among the counties seeing a large rise in cases, but the increase in spread is slow and so far it is not on the lockdown list.

So what could the capital expect from a fresh lockdown?

Timing

The large factory outbreaks in Kildare, Laois and Offaly developed in the week beginning July 27. The outbreaks were explosive and cases were seeping into the community.

The lockdown measures were hastily announced on August 7 to the shock of people in the three counties.

Fianna Fáil TD for Kildare James Lawless said if another local lockdown is being imposed ideally people will be given 24 hours notice - although he conceded it might increase transmission.

The question must be asked if the significance of the midlands outbreak was recognised and controlled early enough.

A recent factory outbreak in Tipperary was reacted to more quickly by public health teams.

Testing

If there is another lockdown the testing and tracing system must be in top gear.

Initially, people in Kildare referred for testing had to go to a centre in Dublin, which carried the risk of those without transport not getting the test. A drive-through centre then opened in Punchestown.

Over one weekend the turnaround time for tests went from 48 hours to four days. It's valuable time that may be lost.

County boundaries

The decision to ringfence full counties as opposed to local areas where factories are located appears to have been the right one and is likely to be repeated.

The evidence from the testing was that cases linked to the outbreaks were spread around the counties and in some cases spilled on to Carlow.

Menu of measures

The restrictions were described as 'low level', although locals saw them as draconian.

Cafes, restaurants and pubs in these three counties had to close from midnight on the day of the announcement, as well as cinemas, theatres and museums. There were no sporting events and all gyms shut.

People in the three counties were only allowed travel within their own county unless for work, medical appointments or family reasons.

The next lockdown is likely to involve the same menu of restrictions with the aim to prevent people mixing as much as possible.

Triggers for lockdown

The speed of new cases and volume of outbreaks could prompt action.

The problem arises when cases linked to an outbreak in a workplace seed further outbreaks in households and extended families.

In that case it's spreading fast and is a worry.