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26 Mar 2020 | 12:02 PM UTC

Ireland: Government implements new domestic restrictions due to COVID-19 March 25 /update 3

Ireland implements new domestic restrictions due to COVID-19 March 25; further spread of the virus expected over the near term

health
IRL

Event

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar announced a series of new domestic restrictions intended to prevent further spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) that went into effect at midnight (local time) on Wednesday, March 25. They include the following:

  • All nonessential retail outlets are to close, and all other retail outlets are to implement social distancing;
  • All theaters, clubs, gyms/leisure centers, hairdressers, betting shops, marts, markets, casinos, bingo halls, libraries, and other similar outlets are to close;
  • All hotels are to limit occupancy to essential non-tourist and non-social reasons;
  • All cafes and restaurants are limited to takeaway and delivery;
  • All sporting events are to be canceled;
  • Places of worship are to restrict numbers entering at any one time;
  • Individuals should work from home if possible;
  • All scheduled cruise ship travel is suspended;
  • Outdoor social gatherings of more than four people are prohibited, unless all are from the same household.

Taoiseach Varadkar also announced that the previous measures implemented on March 12, such as the closure of all schools and universities nationwide, will remain in place through April 19 at the earliest.

To date, there have been more than 1500 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ireland, including nine associated fatalities. Further international spread of the virus is expected over the coming days and weeks.

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.