Ireland closing all schools, colleges and kindergartens to combat coronavirus spread
Museums and tourist sites will also be inaccessible until 29 March
- March 12, 2020 17:30
- Plamen Petrov
Acting together, we can save lives, said Irish PM Leo Varadcar today, announcing sweeping measures to contain the coronavirus spread in the Republic of Ireland. As of 12 March, there were 43 Covid-19 cases in the Republic with one fatality; 18 cases were confirmed in Northern Ireland.
The restrictive measures will be in effect from 6pm today until 29 March, but may be extended depending on how the situation evolves. They include the following steps, summarized by RTE:
- Schools, colleges and childcare facilities will close from tomorrow, 13 March. Teaching will be done online or remotely.
- State-run "cultural institutions" such as museums, galleries, tourist sites will close.
- Indoor mass gatherings of more than 100 people and outdoor mass gatherings of more than 500 people should be cancelled.
- People arriving at airports and ports will be fully informed and should self-isolate if they develop symptoms.
- People are advised to work remotely if possible or stagger working times and break times.
- Outside of work, social interaction should be reduced to a minimum.
- Shops should remain open and public transport will continue to operate. The government will ensure that supply chains are not interrupted.
- Public and businesses are urged to take a sensible and level- headed approach.
Uplifting the Irish spirit
Striking a note of reassurance, Mr Varadkar said that these restrictions may come as a shock to some Irish people but acting as one nation can save many lives. He said the economy will suffer, but "we can bounce back".
We all need to look out for each other. We are a great nation, we have overcome many trials in the past with our determination and we will prevail again, reiterated the Prime Minister.
The new preventive measures come on top of the cancellation of mass events across Ireland such as St Patrick’s Day parades amid coronavirus-related concerns.
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