The new measures will be in place for two weeks.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has announced drastic new measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Ireland.

From midnight tonight (Friday 27th March),  for a two-week period – everybody must stay at home in all circumstances.

Except for the following exceptional circumstances:

  • To go to work.
  • To get essential goods.
  • To attend medical appointments.
  • And vital family reasons like caring for children/elderly.
  • For exercise.

Meanwhile, all public and private gatherings outside of a single household will be prohibited.

Outside of the reasons listed there is to be no travel outside a 2km radius of your home for any reason.

He also announced that all public transport and passenger travel will be restricted to workers only or people providing essential services.

And all visits to hospitals, residential healthcare settings and prisons will be stopped.

Added to the announcement, Mr. Varadkar said all non-essential health services will be postponed, while ‘Cocooning’ will be introduced for those over 70 years of age.

The Taoiseach said he was reluctant to use the word ‘lock down’, but he did concede the new measures are ‘very restrictive.

The announcement comes after three more deaths and 302 new cases of the virus were confirmed here on Friday.

Farming will be exempt from the restrictions.