The Republic of Ireland is to move into the highest level (5) of coronavirus restrictions for six weeks as the Dublin government battles to curtail the spread of Covid-19.
Announcing the lockdown, Taoiseach (leader) Micheál Martin said the intention was to subsequently to move back to Level 3.
The new restrictions, which include curtailing the hospitality industry could lead to 150,000 people losing their jobs, according to deputy premier Leo Varadkar.
The public will be asked to stay within 5km of their homes and there will be penalties for breaches. Schools will remain open and elite level sports will go-ahead behind closed doors. Weddings for up to 25 guests will be still allowed.
People will be allowed to meet outdoors with one other household.
The Taoiseach said if people “pulled together over the next six weeks we will have the opportunity to celebrate Christmas in a meaningful way.”
“We still lack clarity on the cost-benefit analysis of the national strategic goal of suppression. The alternatives of mitigation or elimination have not been clarified in terms of their trade-offs,” said the Irish Business and Employers Confederation (Ibec) in a statement reacting to the new tightened restrictions from the coalition government.