On Friday, April 10, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar announced that the domestic restrictions currently in place nationwide will be extended until Tuesday, May 5, to prevent further spread of the ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak. The restrictions, originally enacted on Friday, March 27, were set to expire on Sunday, April 12.
Under the restrictions, all individuals are to remain home 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 2 km (1.2 mi) 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.
Previous measures implemented on March 25, such as the closure of all nonessential retail outlets nationwide, will remain in place through May 5 at the earliest.
As of April 10, there have been 6574 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 263 associated fatalities nationwide. Further international spread of the virus is expected over the coming days and weeks.
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.
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.