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Kildare to remain in lockdown as virus resurgence goes on with 136 new cases

New research finds 3.1pc of Dubliners have antibodies

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Masked passengers queue to board a bus to Dublin in Kildare town

Masked passengers queue to board a bus to Dublin in Kildare town

Colin Keegan

Masked passengers queue to board a bus to Dublin in Kildare town

Kildare will stay in local lockdown while restrictions in Laois and Offaly will be lifted under recommendations from health officials.

After meeting to examine the impact of the restriction on the three counties, the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) decided the spread of the virus had been contained enough in Laois and Offaly to ease the rules.

However, after examining data on Covid-19 for Kildare, they recommended keeping people living in the county under local lockdown.

The Cabinet will decide today whether to implement the recommendations from Nphet.

Antibodies

If accepted, people in Laois and Offaly will be able to travel outside their county boundaries again, but not into Kildare where lockdown measures will remain enforced.

Yesterday a survey of Sligo and Dublin showed people in the capital were most likely to have antibodies for Covid-19.

Ireland is a long way off reaching 'herd immunity' after a study indicated the vast majority of people were unlikely to have been infected.

The study published yesterday measured antibodies for the virus and reported a prevalence of infection of just 0.6pc in Sligo and 3.1pc in Dublin.

Based on these results, the Health Protection Surveillance Centre estimated the proportion of people between 12 and 69 years of age with coronavirus antibodies among the population living in Ireland was 1.7pc.

A representative sample of 1,733 people aged between 12 and 69 years of age in both Sligo and Dublin participated in the study carried out by HPSC and the National Virus Reference Laboratory in June and July this year.

Of the 1,733 samples tested, 33 tested positive for antibodies, 28 of these were in Dublin, and five in Sligo.

Meanwhile, thousands of children will be asked to board school buses with no social distancing despite the advice of health officials.

Parents said they are concerned that many second level pupils are likely to be placed on packed buses next week despite a goal for them to operate at 50pc capacity.

Phased

The Department of Education confirmed it will implement social distancing on school buses, but it will be phased in. Where possible, it would start the term off with buses for second-level pupils at 50pc capacity, and discussions were already under way with Bus √Čireann.

But it won't happen on all services immediately and Transport Minister Eamon Ryan has already said that they did not have the buses to increase the capacity.