Ireland announces six-week coronavirus lockdown

Ireland announces six-week coronavirus lockdown

Ireland's government is putting the country at its highest level of coronavirus restrictions for six weeks in a bid to combat a rise in infections.

Ireland confirmed 1,031 new coronavirus cases on Monday, taking the overall total to more than 50,000.

"Over the coming days, with Level 5 restrictions to come into effect statewide, tens of thousands of other workers will become unemployed through no fault of their own".

Under the draconian restrictions, only essential retail can remain open.

Taoiseach Micheal Martin says the future for children can't be another victim of the disease.

Ministers believe that the general public and Irish businesses need time to prepare for the strict new measures, and will introduce them on Wednesday night as a result.

People are asked to stay at home.

No visitors or gatherings other than weddings and funerals are allowed below level 5.

So what is a support bubble?

Visiting a nursing home or a care home are suspended.

Visits are suspended aside from "critical and compassionate circumstances" at both levels. People should work from home unless providing an essential service for which their physical presence is required.

To cushion the blow, the government will increase the amount it contributes to coronavirus-related jobless payments and wage subsidies until January 31.

The PUP payment is being restored to €350 a week for anyone who was earning more than €400 a week before losing their job.

However, the petition, which had almost 27,000 signatories as of Monday morning, said gym closings would "affect many people mentally and physically and have lasting effects on people, families and their loved ones".

He did not go into detail in his speech, more detail to come.

A support bubble is to be created for persons living alone or parenting alone.

"We can not and will not allow the future of our children and young people to be another victim of this disease", promises Micheal Martin, the Irish taoiseach (prime minister), at the head of a coalition with the two false right-wing parties (Fianna Fail and Finn Gael) and environmentalists.

Elite level sport will be allowed.

Horse/Greyhound racing can continue without fans too.

Gyms, leisure centres and swimming pools will close.

Nightclubs, discos and casinos will remain closed.

Weddings will remain capped at 25 guests until 31 December.

The new rules will allow 10 people to attend a funeral.

Museums, galleries and other cultural attractions will be closed while church services will be held online.

Government now considers construction to be essential.

Two different sources familiar with the plan told Reuters that the initial discussions had considered incorporating parts of Levels 4 and 5 of the five-step framework.

Earlier Transport Minister Eamon Ryan indicated that any new restrictions will not be introduced immediately saying "you don't just flick a switch".

Residents in the Republic of Ireland will also be under travel restrictions.

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