People in Ireland are being urged to not leave their homes until April 12, Easter Sunday.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar announced on Friday, March 27 new restrictions for people across Ireland in its coronavirus battle.
Varadkar said that effective from midnight tonight, "everyone must stay at home in all circumstances," except in certain instances which he went on to outline.
The restrictions will remain in place until April 12, Easter Sunday.
The exceptions to the new restrictions that seek to keep people in their homes include:
- Travel to and from work for the purposes of work only where the work is an essential health, social care, or other essential service that cannot be done from home. A list of these will be provided.
- To shop for food or household goods, or collect a meal
- To attend medical appointments and collect medicines and other health products
- For vital family reasons, such as providing care to children, elderly, or vulnerable people
- To take brief, individual physical exercise within 2km of your own home which may include children from your own household, as long as you adhere to 2m physical distancing
- For farming purposes, that is food production and the care of animals
Varadkar, who said further details would be published online, added: "All public and private gatherings of any number of people outside a single household or living unit are prohibited. The virus might be in your household already, so please don't spread it somebody else's."
Additionally, “shielding” or “cocooning” will be introduced for people who are 70 years of age or older, or extremely vulnerable.
Travel to Ireland’s off-shore islands is now restricted to residents of those islands. Public transport and passenger travel will be restricted to essential workers.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar outlines further Covid-19 measures, says everybody must stay at home from midnight tonight until Easter Sunday, 12 April | Follow live updates: https://t.co/W2t5MvPevS pic.twitter.com/dx5HbeKts6— RTÉ News (@rtenews) March 27, 2020
“Our country’s rising to this challenge, and I’m convinced we will prevail,” Varadkar said during Friday night's address.
The caretaker Taoiseach said that the number of coronavirus patients in ICUs in Ireland has doubled since Monday. He also said that there has been an increase in the number of cluster cases in nursing homes and residential facilities.
Varadkar said the measures announced tonight are “radical,” but they are being put in place to save “as many people’s lives as possible.”
“We are not prisoners of fate, we have influence on what will happen next,” Varadkar said.