Coronavirus: Republic of Ireland to move to tightest restrictions

Last updated at 10:19
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Ireland is increasing its coronavirus restrictions to help slow the spread of the virus

The Republic of Ireland is to move to the country's highest level of coronavirus restrictions.

It will be similar to the lockdown that took place in the spring.

The Irish government published a five-stage plan for "living with Covid-19" in mid-September. Level one has the most relaxed measures while level five - the highest level - has the most severe restrictions.

Level five restrictions will come into effect from midnight on Wednesday.

The aim is to try and help stop the spread of the virus.

Under the rules, people will only be able to exercise within 5km (3 miles) of their home. However, schools and crèches will remain open. Elite sport and construction will also continue.

The restrictions are to last for six weeks but will be reviewed after four.

What are the new rules in Ireland?

A cyclist passes a mural in Dublin City centre as the Irish government considers new coronavirus restrictionsPA Media
People will only be able to exercise within 5km (3 miles) of their homes
  • People are being asked to stay at home. Those who can work from home must do so. There will be a penalty for anyone travelling beyond 3 miles of their home, unless it's for essential work and essential purposes.
  • People will be able to meet up outdoors with one other household away from their home for the likes of exercise, within the 3-mile limit.
  • No social or family gatherings are allowed in homes or gardens, but visits on compassionate grounds and for caring purposes can continue.
  • Those living alone or parenting alone will be able to pair with another household as part of a "support bubble".
  • Many non-essential shops and hairdressers will have to close.
  • Bars and restaurants will only be able to provide a takeaway service.
  • The number of wedding guests permitted will remain at 25 until the end of the year.
  • Elite sporting events can take place.
  • Most manufacturing will remain open.
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Ireland's Prime Minister Mícheál Martin addressed the Irish nation on 19 October

In a televised address on Monday evening, Ireland's prime minister Mícheál Martin said that despite having introduced what was probably "Europe's strictest regime", the current restrictions on their own had not been enough to significantly reduce levels of infection.

He went on to say: "The days are getting shorter and colder but I ask you to remember this: even as the winter comes in, there is hope. And there is light."

Mr Martin added that if everyone pulled together, the country would be able to celebrate Christmas "in a meaningful way".

He also announced financial support for businesses and individuals, as well as measures to support mental health.

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