Restaurants, cafés, hairdressers and other businesses classed as ‘non-essential’ including theatres, clubs, gyms and libraries are to close from tonight under new government measures aimed at curbing the spread of the Covid-19 virus.
Further restrictions will also be placed on outdoor gatherings, with Gardaí to be given the power to disperse large groups meeting in public spaces. There will be no limit placed on the number of times you may leave your house per day, but groups will be limited to four people, unless all from the same household.
The new measures were announced by An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar this afternoon after the cabinet was briefed this morning by the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) on the latest developments in the Covid-19 outbreak. It was announced earlier today by the Minister for Education, Joe McHugh TD, that the closures of schools and universities will be extended beyond the original March 29 date until Sunday, April 19 at the earliest.
Leo Varadkar described the new guidelines as “unprecedented measures for an unprecedented emergency.”
As of Monday night, there were 1,125 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the Republic of Ireland, and six deaths from the disease. The government and public health authorities have reiterated their advice to the public to limit the spread of the virus, stressing the need to practice physical distancing, limit journeys outside the home and wash their hands on a regular basis.