Ireland has now moved to “Level 5” measures — in what is now Europe’s strictest coronavirus lockdown.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin announced the restrictions on Monday when the country’s case count topped 50,000. The restrictions are set to be in place for six weeks to deal with the “deteriorating situation with the disease across the country.”
Martin tweeted late Wednesday, “This evening, as we think about the next six weeks of increased restrictions at Level 5, we just need to remember that we are doing this to protect our families and the most vulnerable in our communities. We will come through it and we will see each other again. #LockdownEve.”
Under the new measures, people are asked to work from home, unless providing an essential service. Social gatherings at homes and gardens are prohibited, but people will be allowed to exercise in parks close their homes. Schools, childcare services and “essential retail” services will remain open under the restrictions. Bars and restaurants are allowed to be open only for take-away and delivery service during the period.
Ireland recorded an increase of nearly 2,000 new cases last week over the week before, prompting the government to impose the stringent measures.