Coronavirus live news: WHO says global deaths down 20% since last week; cases declining for six straight weeks | World news










Ireland extends lockdown

Ireland is to start reopening some schools next week but is extending other lockdown restrictions until April to prevent another explosion in Covid-19 cases.

The government has prioritised education and childcare in a cautious new roadmap out of restrictions after a disastrous relaxation before Christmas led to Ireland having the world’s highest rate of infection.

The taoiseach, Micheál Martin, announced the revised Living with Covid plan in a televised address on Tuesday evening.

He praised public compliance with restrictions and said he understood people hoped for relaxations. “The sacrifices you have made have a positive impact – our progress in response to the latest wave is among the best in Europe.”

He said 64% of adults would be vaccinated by May. “We will get through this. I know how hard it is and the toll it is taking on people’s mental health and wellbeing but I also know that the end is now truly in sight.”

The cabinet agreed to extend the maximum level 5 restrictions until 5 April, which means non-essential retail, bars, cafes, construction, gyms and other sectors will remain closed. A 5km travel limit remains in place, as does a ban on household mixing:










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WHO says global deaths down 20% since last week; cases declining for six straight weeks










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