It will be tomorrow evening at the earliest before we know whether a second lockdown will be approved by the government.

It will be tomorrow evening at the earliest before we know whether a second lockdown will be approved by the government.

Lengthy meetings yesterday broke up without any agreement on whether or not to implement NPHET’s advice.

After more than eight hours of meetings yesterday senior ministers failed to reach a decision on whether the entire country should be moved to level five restrictions.

Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan made the case for a second lockdown to the leaders of the three government parties along with the Ministers for Health, Finance and Public Expenditure.

HSE boss Paul Reid gave an update on how the health service is coping with the current level of cases.

While there were presentations on the economic, employment and society wide implications of another lockdown.

The issues of mental health and domestic violence were also considered, while Ministers were told “children were safer in schools” and stressed the importance of them staying open.

Those tricky issues will be further considered by government today before a full cabinet meeting tomorrow to make a call.

There’s been criticism of the cabinet for not moving faster, including from Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald.

But government sources have stressed this is too big a decision to rush and that they will take all the time needed to make a call on something that would, if implemented, put potentially hundreds of thousands of people out of work and restrict the movements of the entire country.