People urged to stay at home as part of new measures

Tanya Simon
March 25, 2020

France, which had raced behind closed doors from early March, suspended all meetings until mid-April a day earlier.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has announced new measures to slow the spread of coronavirus in the Republic of Ireland. These include theatres, clubs, gyms, leisure centres, hairdressers, betting offices, marts, markets, casinos, bingo halls, libraries, and other similar outlets.

All non-essential retail outlets are to close to the public from midnight tonight. All cafes and restaurants should limit supply to takeaways and deliveries only. All playground and holiday caravan parks are closed.

"All sporting events are cancelled".

In relation to public transport, people are advised to only use it if absolutely necessary.

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

Any retailers that remain open must implement measures to ensure social distancing.

He added that social gatherings of individuals outdoors shouldn't exceed four people unless you're all from the same household.

"I'm asking you to stay at home if at all possible".

"We are in exceptional times".

New Zealand PM Ardern declares national emergency to tackle coronavirus
Ashley Bloomfield warned the number of coronavirus cases would "continue to increase for at least 10 days, before turning around". '[It will] ensure the government has all the powers it needs to slow the spread of Covid-19 and reduce its impact, ' she said.

"So you should only leave home to go to work, if you can't work from home and your attendance is essential".

"There needs to be two metres between you and other people", he said.

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

"We're in this for the long haul and this could go on for weeks". This could go on for weeks or months.

He also said: "No unnecessary travel should take place within the country or overseas, now or over the Easter break". This is approximately 75% of average earnings in the sectors most affected. First payments will be made on Friday.

In terms of money, unemployment benefits would be raised to 350 euros a week and those who were forced to self isolate would also get this sum. This will be paid to people self-isolating.

An emergency wage subsidy scheme under which the Government will pay 70% of a worker's salary up to a cap of €410 per week net - equivalent to the after-tax income of a worker on around €40,000.

- Government has agreed with private hospitals that they will effectively work as public hospitals for the duration of the emergency.

He said: "There can be no public vs private here".

Speaking at the press conference, Minister Harris acknowledged that this is "all a bit surreal for people", who are being asked to behave "counter-intuitively".

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