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Coalition leaders to meet today to discuss six week lockdown

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – The leaders of the three coalition parties will meet later today to discuss placing the country back into a six week lockdown.

NPHET has recommended Level 5 restrictions for the entire country.

1,000 new cases of Covid-19 and three more deaths were confirmed yesterday.

The latest figures show Galway had 75 new cases, and an incidence rate of 229 per 100 thousand population.

The chief medical officer’s urging people to keep their social contacts to an ‘absolute minimum’ this weekend.

Dr Tony Holohan says every time someone physically interacts with another person, they’re giving Covid the chance to spread.

Meanwhile, daily totals of Covid-19 cases across Europe are reaching record levels in multiple countries.

Germany reported a record 7,334 new cases yesterday, while Italy’s daily total exceeded 10,000 for the first time on Friday.

Austria’s Foreign Minister has tested positive for coronavirus and might have caught it at an EU meeting on Monday.

Alexander Schallenberg was in Luxembourg with his European counterparts, including Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney.

All members of Austria’s government are being tested today as a precaution.

Also, The Czech Republic is entering a 30 day state of emergency in an attempt to curb Europe’s largest sudden spike in recent weeks.

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Government preparing to move to level five for six weeks

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – A six week lockdown is on the cards as Ministers are meeting to consider moving the country to level five restrictions.

Party leaders are understood to have approved the escalation of measures and are now consulting with their party colleagues.

After senior Ministers met health officials earlier this afternoon a shift in approach was decided on.

Instead of a level 4 plus which had been talked about the recommendation gone to Ministers is to put the country to level five restrictions for six weeks.

That means the second lockdown would last until the start of December.

It’s expected the measures will take effect tomorrow midnight or Wednesday.

Level five would mean travel being limited to within 5 kilometres of your home.

It’s expected schools will be allowed to stay open.

Elite sport will be allowed to be played even under level five.

A ban on evictions will be part of the new measures while a system of fines for breaches is being finalised.

The idea of social bubbles is also still on the table to allow lonely or vulnerable people to be cared for.

All non-essential retail will close and pubs and restaurants will move to takeaway only.

The measures have yet to be signed off on by the cabinet which is meeting at the moment, but it looks like a long lockdown will be announced tonight.

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Motorists warned of road closure near Mountbellew due to road accident

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – Motorists in the Mountbellew area are being warned of a road closure due to a road traffic accident in the past hour.

The road between Mountbellew and Castlefrench Cross – known as the bog road – is closed due to an overturned truck.

It’s understood no injuries were sustained during the incident.

However, Gardai are advising motorists that the road is likely to remain closed for a number of hours.

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Gardaí note sharp rise in speeding across city despite drop in general crime

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – A Garda report has found that crime in Galway city dropped significantly across many categories in the first 9 months of the year when compared to the same period in 2019.

The stats, which were presented at a meeting of the City Joint Policing Committee today, have revealed a sharp increase in speeding offences over the period however.

According to the report, incidents of speeding jumped significantly by 141%, from 2085 to 5028 over the period.

No fatal road accidents were recorded, incidents of intoxicated driving fell by 19% – from 93 to 75, while collisions which caused serious injury increased from 9 to 11, when compared to 2019 figures.

Between January and September of this year, €157 thousand worth of cocaine was seized, as well as €110 thousand euro worth of cannabis and €30 thousand euro worth of ecstasy.

Thefts dropped across all categories – with thefts from persons down 53% and thefts from shops down 21%.

For public order, begging shot up by 256% from 9 incidents to 32, while general public order offences drop by 15% when compared to same time last year.

Another area which saw a significant increase is the breach of barring orders which rose by 33% from 36 to 48.

Meanwhile, reported incidents of rape dropped by 55% from 22 to 10 – with sexual assaults also dropping significantly by 30% from 30 to 21 over the period.

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