Irish government rejects return to full coronavirus lockdown

Ministers reject health chiefs’ recommendation to impose highest level of restrictions

The Irish government has rejected a recommendation to return the country to a full lockdown in the first clash with health chiefs since the Covid outbreak began.

The surprise recommendation by the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) late on Sunday to impose the highest of five levels of restrictions possible with immediate effect had led to sharp criticism from some of the country’s most senior politicians, including the former taoiseach Leo Varadkar.

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