Irish cabinet restricts movements after minister contracts COVID-19

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The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Dublin

DUBLIN (Reuters) -All members of Ireland's cabinet are restricting their movements while awaiting COVID-19 tests after Agriculture Minister Charlie McConalogue contracted the virus, the government said in a statement on Wednesday.

Ireland has one of the lowest incidence rates of COVID-19 in Europe but cases are now rising at a rate of 10% a day after a sudden surge that health chiefs say represents a third wave of infections.

The cabinet last met early on Tuesday when they decided to shut restaurants, pubs and some shops on Christmas Eve in a sharp tightening of restrictions that ministers said could last for at least two months.

McConalogue is showing no symptoms and is self-isolating in line with public health guidelines, a spokesman for the minister said.

(Reporting by Padraic Halpin; editing by John Stonestreet and Louise Heavens)