Leo Varadkar issues emergency coronavirus crackdown in Ireland as disease grips nation

Leo Varadkar issues emergency coronavirus crackdown in Ireland as disease grips nation”

All non-essential retail outlets will close as of midnight tonight as Taoiseach Leo Varadkar announced a swathe of new Covid-19 restrictions at a press conference this afternoon.

"Social gatherings of individuals outdoors should be of no more than four people, unless you're all from the same household".

These include theatres, clubs, gyms, leisure centres, hairdressers, betting offices, marts, markets, casinos, bingo halls, libraries, and other similar outlets. Restaurants and café's should operate takeaway measures.

All sporting events have been cancelled, including those carried out behind closed doors.

All churches and other places of worship are to restrict the number of people attending. - All hotels must limit occupancy to essential non-social and non-tourist reasons.

Mr Varadkar asked the people of Ireland to follow public health advice and to wash hands regularly, observe proper cough and sneeze etiquette, not to touch your face, maintain physical distancing, and stay home if you feel unwell.

"To assist all this, the restrictions I announced in Washington D.C. are being extended until Sunday April 19".

The taoiseach yesterday urged everyone to stay at home to slow the spread of Covid-19. "I believe a liberal democracy can do this without the need of authoritarian or draconian actions", he said.

The government said it was seeing early signs of success in slowing the virus through social distancing, but asked people to "go further".

"The Gardai will increase interventions where venues are not complying with or groups of people are not complying with social distancing", he said.

"Non-essential indoor visits to other people's homes should be avoided", the Taoiseach said. But we can bear it and we can repay it as a nation. "However, we need to flatten the curve", he said. "That is why we have stepped up the measures".

The Government is raising the Covid-19 unemployment and sick payment to €350 per week.

COVID-19 is spread through close contact with an infected person's body fluids (e.g. droplets from coughing or sneezing), or by touching surfaces that an infected person has coughed or sneezed on.

He said a Wage Subsidy Scheme was being introduced to encourage employers and companies badly affected by the emergency to keep staff on the payroll.

So far, 1,125 cases have been confirmed in the Republic of Ireland and six people who had Covid-19 have died.

"There can be no room for public versus private when it comes to pandemic".

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