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Coronavirus: Ireland locks down again for another month to stop the spread of the new variant

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The new lockdown aims to stem the spread of the new COVID-19 variant
The new lockdown aims to stem the spread of the new COVID-19 variant   -   Copyright  Peter Morrison/AP
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Ireland will return to a full lockdown for at least a month to prevent the spread of a new variant of coronavirus, the country's prime minister said Wednesday.

Speaking at a news conference Micheál Martin said the government was planning to evaluate the lockdown on Jan. 31st, but warned that some sectors may still be closed "depending on where the numbers are".

"Our priority is to arrest this growth and then to get a downward trajectory, both in cases and in hospitalizations as we roll out the vaccination program" he said.

The new restrictions require people to stay at home except for work, education and exercise, while non-essential shops and gyms will be closed from Thursday.