Taoiseach Leo Varadkar says "our greatest generation was not in the past" as Ireland continues to battle the coronavirus pandemic.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar today announced new restrictions that are to come into place in the Republic of Ireland from midnight tonight in a bid to continue the battle the coronavirus pandemic.

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Speaking from the Government Press Center on March 24, Varadkar outlined the new measures that are coming into effect tonight as per recommendations from the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) and said that the initial restrictions he laid out on March 12 will be extended through April 19 at the earliest.

Varadkar concluded his speech with a note of hope, saying: "Four years ago, we commemorated the 1916 Rising, and we celebrated the men and women who helped us win our freedom and independence.

"I never believed we'd be called upon to match their courage or example, but today we are. Working together as a country we will come through this emergency; we will be tested, but we will succeed.

"Our greatest generation was not in the past, and better times are yet to come."

At the time of Varadkar's address, there were 1.125 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the Republic of Ireland, though new figures for March 24 have yet to be released.

New restrictions in place in the Republic of Ireland from midnight March 25:

All theaters, clubs, gyms/leisure centers, hairdressers, betting shops, marts, markets, casinos, bingo halls, libraries, and other similar outlets are to close;

All hotels to limit occupancy to essential non-social and non-tourist reasons;

All non-essential retail outlets are to close to members of the public and all other retail outlets are to implement social distancing;

All cafes and restaurants are to limit supply to take-away food or delivery and implement social distancing measures in respect of queueing; 

All sporting events are to be canceled, including those behind closed doors;

All playgrounds and holiday/caravan parks are to close; 

All places of worship are to restrict numbers entering at any one time to ensure adequate social distancing; 

Significantly raise the amount of money available on cashless card transactions; 

All organized social indoor or outdoor events of any size are not to take place;

Social distancing, in as far as is practicable, is to be ensured between the clients/patients in confined settings such as:

  • long-term care facilities, either for elderly or persons with special needs;
  • psychiatric institutions;
  • homeless shelters;
  • prisons.

Measures applicable to public transport include:

  • cleaning schedules on public transport are to be improved;
  • people should not use public transport unless it is absolutely necessary;
  • transport companies are to apply social distancing measures and limit the numbers permitted on public transport at any one time.

Gardai are to increase interventions where venues / outlets are not in compliance with, or where groups of people are not adhering to recommended social distancing measures;

All household contacts of a suspect case (i.e. a person who is awaiting a test or test result) should restrict movements until the test is reported negative or for 14 days, whichever is shorter);

Individuals should work from home unless workplace attendance is essential;

Social gatherings of individuals outdoors should be no more than four persons, unless all are from the same household;

All non-essential indoor visits to other persons’ homes should be avoided;

All crowded places, including public amenities, should be avoided;

All scheduled cruise ship travel is to cease.

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