- Ireland will be plunged into one of Europe’s strictest lockdowns on Wednesday in a bid to suppress Covid-19
- The Irish Government today agreed to impose tough Level 5 restrictions on the country for six weeks
- Measures include shutdown of non-essential retail, ban of public gatherings and limitation of movement
Ireland will be plunged into one of Europe’s strictest lockdowns for six weeks from midnight on Wednesday, despite no new Covid-19 deaths being recorded today.
Cabinet ministers have agreed to impose Level 5 restrictions which will force most businesses to close, prevent mass gatherings and limit free movement across the Republic until December 1.
The public will be told to stay at home, with exercise permitted within a 5km radius of their home.
Gatherings except for groups of 10 at funerals and 25 at weddings will be banned, and only essential shops will be allowed to stay open. Construction will be permitted, but pubs, restaurants and cafes will only be able to provide takeaways and deliveries.
The Taoiseach said the Government was introducing Level 5 restrictions for the entire country because ‘the evidence of a potentially grave situation arising in the weeks ahead was now too strong’.
Micheal Martin said schools and creches would remain open because ‘we cannot and will not allow our children and young people’s futures to be another victim of this disease’. He added: ‘They need their education.’
He also said the Government will be supporting efforts to suppress the virus with ‘enhanced financial supports’ for individuals and businesses, which would include improvements to the Pandemic Unemployment Payment and Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme.
Mr Martin added that social isolation and anxiety were very ‘real issues’ and therefore those living alone or parenting alone would be able to pair with another household as part of a ‘support bubble’.