New restrictions to come into force from midnight tonight – Covid-19

March 24, 2020 0

A raft of new public health measures have been announced this evening by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to combat the spread of Coronavirus / Covid-19. The announcement comes following a meeting of the National Public Health Emergency Team.  The Taoiseach said this afternoon measures were agreed in three areas;

  1. New measures to slow the spread of the virus as recommended by the CMO and the NPHET -an expert team of public health doctors, virologists and scientists.
  2. New measures to assist those who have lost or will lose their jobs as a consequence of the Emergency and a scheme to ensure that many others do not and remain on the payroll rather than being laid off.
  3. New emergency legislation that we are asking the Dáil and Seanad to enact before the end of the week.

The following new actions are being taken:

  • All theatres, clubs, gyms/leisure centres, hairdressers, betting shops, marts, markets, casinos, bingo halls, libraries and other similar outlets are to shut;
  • 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 physical distancing; [a list of essential stores is provided]
  • All cafes and restaurants are to limit supply to take away food or delivery;
  • All sporting events are cancelled, including those behind closed doors;
  • All playgrounds and holiday/caravan parks will close;
  • All places of worship are to restrict numbers entering at any one time to ensure adequate physical distancing;
  • All organised social indoor and outdoor events of any size are not to take place.

Gardai will increase interventions where venues are not in compliance with, or where groups of people are not adhering to recommended physical distancing.

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 since the onset of symptoms, whichever is shorter.

Individuals should work from home unless attendance at workplace is absolutely 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 will cease.

Any setting that should close has been specifically identified.

The requirement that workers work from home, unless attendance is absolutely essential, is not to be read as meaning that factories or construction sites have to shut. The authorities are available to work with employers and unions on how to make physical distancing effective.

There will be an increased presence of park rangers and Gardaí in parks and public places to ensure physical distancing is being observed.