Ireland is the first European Union country to return to coronovirus lockdown


Ireland will be the first European Union country Return to Coronavirus The lockdown, Prime Minister Michele Martin said on Monday, issued a nationwide “stay home” order, but insisted schools remain open. The measures, to be implemented from Wednesday midnight to six weeks, will shut down all non-essential retail businesses Bar & Restaurant Limited to takeaway or delivery service only.

“Everyone in the country is being asked to stay home,” Martin said at a televised national address.

Only essential workers will be “allowed to travel to work,” he said, and citizens will be allowed to exercise only within three miles of their residence.

UK Northern Ireland Lockdown Outbreak of Virus
A police officer interacted with people outside Bittles Bar on Friday, October 16, 2020, in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Peter Morrison / AP


The government warned in a statement that there would be a “penalty” for violating the five-kilometer restriction, and that public transport would operate at 25 percent capacity to serve only essential workers.

Martin said schools and childcare facilities will remain open “because we will not let the futures of our children and youth fall prey to this disease.”

Restrictions on visits between different homes and indoor events will also be extended, although the two houses will be allowed to mix at outdoor locations such as parks.

A “social bubble” program will also allow people living alone with risk of social isolation or mental health issues to visit each other’s home.

And unlike the previous shutdown order issued in March, elite and professional-level sports would be allowed behind closed doors across Ireland – which have suffered 1,852 deaths from coronaviruses.

Martin said the current restrictions of the republic were “probably Europe’s strictest regime”, but “further action is now required.”

“If we pull together over the next six weeks, we will have the opportunity to celebrate Christmas in a meaningful way,” he said.

Lobby group Retail Ireland predicted “thousands of retail workers will be out of work in the interim”.

Director Arnold Dillon said, “It is important that these measures work and we are in place to reopen retail before Christmas.”

“We cannot only consider severe rolling restrictions in the future.”

Ireland has taken a generally cautious stance in fighting the battle against coronoviruses.

Currently there are no “green list” countries on the National Register of Safe Travel Destinations and the government has closed “Europe’s longest dubbed pub”.

But two weeks after Dublin’s decision to return the nation to lockdown, the government rejected a similar recommendation from public health chiefs.

At the time, Deputy Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said the advice to move the country into a four-week lockdown was “not thought through.”

The coalition government’s belief that a six-week lockdown is now necessary may spark accusations as it blocks the public health response to the growing virus.

Daily deaths from coronovirus in Ireland peaked at 77 in April and have remained in single digits continuously in recent weeks, with no Monday registered.

Although the republic is seeing a resurgence in confirmed infections of the virus like many other nations, 1,031 new cases have been reported on Monday.

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