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28 Mar 2020 | 06:46 AM UTC

Ireland: Authorities implement further domestic restrictions as of March 28 /update 4

Authorities implement further domestic restrictions as of March 28 due to the COVID-19 outbreak; abide to government directives

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Event

On Friday, March 27, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar announced further domestic restrictions effective immediately in an effort to contain the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in the country.

As such, all individuals are to remain home until Sunday, April 12, except for the following situations : 

  • To travel to and from work, or for purposes of work, only where the work is an essential health, social care, or other essential service, and cannot be done from home.
  • To shop for food and 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 (1.2mi) of your home, which may include children from your household, as long as you adhere to strict 2m physical distancing.
  • For farming purposes, such as food production or care of animals.

Additionally, all public and private gatherings of any number of people outside a single household or living unit are prohibited.

Taoiseach Varadkar also announced that the previous measures implemented on March 25, such as the closure of all nonessential retail outlets nationwide, will remain in place through Sunday, April 12, at the earliest.

As of March 28, there are 1819 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 22 reported deaths nationwide. Further international spread of the virus is expected.

Context

The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and labored breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.

Advice

Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.