Irish COVID-19 cases fall to near three-week low on tight restrictions

FILE PHOTO: A woman wearing a protective face mask cycles through an empty street as the government announced they were moving the country to its highest level of restrictions, Level 5, for six weeks as the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak continues, in Galway, Ireland, October 20, 2020. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Ireland reported the lowest number of COVID-19 cases for almost three weeks on Wednesday, with the seven-day average falling for the seventh consecutive day after the country introduced some of the tightest restrictions in Europe.

The Irish government last Wednesday ordered the closure of all non-essential retail for six weeks, with restaurants limited to take away services and people told to remain within 5 kilometres of their homes.

Two weeks earlier, the government banned indoor restaurant dining and limited visits to private homes.

Ireland reported 675 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, the lowest daily number since Oct. 9, while the seven-day average fell to 866 from 1,176 a week ago, its data showed.

The Health Ministry also reported six new deaths linked to COVID-19.

Reporting by Conor Humphries; Editing by David Holmes