Schools, colleges, any many other facilities will be closed for at least the next two weeks to combat the spread of Covid-19 coronavirus.
Speaking from Washington DC today Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said that measures to fight the coronavirus outbreak will come into effect from 6pm this evening, and remain in place until at least March 29.
All of the country’s schools, colleges, and childcare facilities will shut, and teaching will be done online or remotely.
Cultural institutions run by the state such as museums, galleries, and tourist locations will also be closed.
Outdoor gatherings of more than 500 people should be cancelled the Taoiseach said, as should indoor gatherings of over 100 people.
Shops will remain open, and public transportation will continue to run.
Anyone who is able to work remotely is urged to do so, or if this is not possible, then work times should be staggered.
Shops, cafés, and other businesses will remain open, but people and businesses need to take a level headed, responsible approach he said.
People are urged to limit their social interactions as much as possible the Taoiseach added.
Taoiseach Varadkar said that we are facing a pandemic unlike anything in living memory, but that by acting together as one nation we can save lives.
“Our economy will suffer. It will bounce back. Lost time in school or college will be recovered. In time, our lives will go back to normal.”
“Above all, we all need to look out for each other,” Leo Varadkar said.
The Taoiseach’s full statement can be read online here.
The HSE confirmed that Ireland had its first death due to the coronavirus on Wednesday, an elderly woman who passed away at Naas General Hospital in Kildare.
Yesterday also saw the World Health Organisation label Covid-19 a pandemic for the first time.
Minister for Health Simon Harris has said today that Ireland is now moving into the “delay” phase of handling the coronavirus pandemic.
Tanaiste Simon Coveney said that he understands these measures are unprecedented in scale, but that they are the right actions to take based on the advice being given.