Multi-Billion Euro Welfare Package On Table As Midlands Sees Rise In Cases

It's likely there will be an extension of current restrictions.

A multi-billion euro social welfare package is among the emergency measures going before ministers today.

The cabinet's meeting to discuss the way forward in the current pandemic.

The government asked the Chief Medical Officer to give them advice on public gatherings after large amounts of people gathered in parks and on beaches over the weekend. 

There are 36 cases of coronavirus in the midlands. 

20 people in Westmeath have been diagnosed with the illness, Offaly has 10 cases while there are six patients in Laois.

Cabinet Ministers will consider that advice today and it's likely there will be an extension of current restrictions as well as some new restrictions announced. 

That cabinet meeting will be conducted over two rooms with some Ministers teleconferencing in to allow social distancing. 

Last night the UK entered a lockdown, meaning different responses are in place north and south of the border. 

That puts more pressure on Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to follow suit and announce more restrictive measures here. 

The cabinet will also discuss the detail of a multi-billion euro social welfare package.

It will aim to subsidise the income of people who have lost work because of the Coronavirus up to somewhere around 75 per cent of their income. 

Cabinet will also approve measures to protect renters - including a rent freeze and an evictions ban. 

All this emergency legislation needs to go before the Dáil this Thursday, with a huge question mark hanging over whether new laws can be passed after next week's Seanad election.

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