Ireland has no plans now for more local lockdowns - health minister

FILE PHOTO: A sign showing 'no entry' is seen at Blackrock Diving Tower as it is closed until further notice due to issues with maintaining social distancing at Salthill beach, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Galway, Ireland, August 11, 2020. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Ireland’s health minister said he has had no conversations with his public health team about implementing other local lockdowns and the government’s intention remains to lift two-week restrictions in the counties of Kildare, Offaly and Laois.

The country’s health officials will meet on Monday to decide if further measures are needed to slow a sharp increase in the spread of the coronavirus that the government and officials have described as deeply concerning.

“Nothing like that has been proposed at the moment... The plan is for the restrictions for the three affected counties to be lifted midnight on Sunday. That’s still the intention,” Stephen Donnelly told national broadcaster RTE.

Reporting by Padraic Halpin; Editing by Hugh Lawson