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Coronavirus Ireland: All the latest updates as stricter measures are announced to halt the spread of Covid-19


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Coronavirus has had a huge impact on business (PA/Andrew Milligan)

Coronavirus has had a huge impact on business (PA/Andrew Milligan)

Coronavirus has had a huge impact on business (PA/Andrew Milligan)

THERE is now a total of 1,329 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Republic of Ireland, and health experts have warned that this figure could reach 15,000 by the end of the month.

Limits have been placed on public transport and non-essential businesses are to shut as part of stricter restrictions announced by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar today today as measures to halt the spread of Covid-19 are ramped up.

Independent.ie reporters will keep you up to date with the latest updates across Ireland as officials take precautions amid the coronavirus outbreak. Here are the latest updates, cancellations and closures:

Society

  • All theaters, clubs, gyms and leisure complexes, hairdressing salons, betting shops, markets, casinos, bingo halls, and libraries will shut from midnight tonight

  • The closure of schools, which was due to end on March 29, will be extended until April 19

  • Hotels have been advised to limit occupancy to essential and non-social and non-tourist reasons

  • All scheduled cruise ship is to cease

  • Non-essential retail outlets are to shut to members of the public, and other retail outlets are urged to implement social distancing measures

  • All cafes and restaurants are to limit their services to take out only

  • Playgrounds and caravan parks are to close

  • Places of worship have been asked to restrict numbers entering at one time and to ensure social distancing is in action

  • The public are advised to limit their use of public transport unless necessary, while improved cleaning measures will be put in place and passenger numbers are to be restricted to ensure social distancing

  • Gardai are to increase interventions where venues or groups of people are not in compliance with recommended social distancing measures

  • Social gatherings should not exceed more than four people unless all individuals are from the same household

  • Individuals should work from home where possible

  • All non-essential indoor visits should be avoided

  • A temporary wage subsidy of 70 pc of take home pay up to a maximum weekly tax free amount of €410 per week to help affected companies keep paying their employees

  • Those who are now unemployed to the crisis will receive an emergency Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment of €350 per week. Self-employed workers will also be eligible

  • Covid-19 illness payment will also be increased to €350 per week

  • Temporary ban on all evictions is to be introduced for duration of coronavirus crisis

  • Eurovision 2020 has been cancelled

Health

  • Hospitals are preparing to move patients to alternative facilities to make room for an expected surge of Covid-19 cases

  • Irish Pharmacy Union urge public not to stockpile medicine as pharmacies will remain open

  • The Mater Hospital in Dublin said it is limiting activity and cancelling most non-essential waiting list surgery and outpatient appointments

Sport

  • Olympic and Paralympic games in Tokyo postponed until 2021

  • Men’s and Women’s Energia All-Ireland Leagues in rugby will not be completed and there will be no promotion or relegation this season

  • All events permitted by Motorsport Ireland are suspended until the 1st June

  • The GAA have confirmed that the start of the 2020 football championship has been postponed

  • The French Open will now take place from September 20 to October 4

  • Sky has confirmed that from the 14 March it will not be charging for Sky Sports service until a live sport schedule returns, according to the Licensed Vintners Association

  • Euro 2020 has been postponed until the summer of 2021, UEFA has announced

  • The Grand National, due to take place on April 4, has been cancelled

  • The Heineken Champions Cup and Challenge Cup quarter-finals have been postponed

  • The Bahrain Grand Prix and the Vietnam Grand Prix have been postponed

  • The Premier League has been suspended until April 4, the Football Association has announced
  • Racing in Britain is set to move behind closed doors later in the week, initially until the end of March, the British Horseracing Authority has announced
  • Six Nations: Ireland v Italy was cancelled last weekend and the Ireland v France clash has also been postponed

Education

  • Leaving Cert language oral exams are cancelled. All students will receive 100pc in lieu of the cancelled assessments

  • Leaving Cert and Junior Cycle practical exams in music and Junior Cycle practical exams in Home Economics are cancelled

  • University College Cork (UCC) has confirmed that a case of coronavirus has been identified in a person who visited the college’s Western Gateway Building on Western Road

  • Trinity College is asking students to leave campus accommodation after being alerted to at least eight cases on campus

  • The Irish National Teachers’ Organisation (INTO) Northern Secretary Gerry Murphy is urging the Stormont Executive and Chief Medical Officer, Dr Michael McBride, to revise the decision not to close the schools at this time
  • Schools and colleges are closed until March 29. Teaching will be done remotely where possible

Travel

  • The Department of Foreign Affairs is advising against travel to Germany, as well as air transit through Germany unless returning to Ireland

  • Ryanair has announced it may suspend all flights except those providing “essential connectivity”, due to the coronavirus. The airline is also reducing flights to and from Spain, the Balearic Islands and Canary Islands from Sunday, March 15 until March 20

  • Irish citizens have been urged not to travel overseas until March 29

  • Ryanair customers can now move their flight free of charge to a date in the future, but advise customers not to try to change to another date in April
  • The Department of Foreign Affairs is now advising against non-essential travel to the Czech Republic, Cyprus, Denmark, Malta, Poland, and Slovakia, and will also be providing additional guidance on Spain, which remains at non-essential travel, while Italy remains at no travel

  • Anyone returning from Spain or Italy is asked by Health Minister Simon Harris to ‘restrict their movements for two weeks’

  • Ryanair and Aer Lingus have cancelled Italian flights; Ryanair has cancelled all Italian flights until April 8 and Aer Lingus have called all flights to and from Italy until April 3

Coronavirus: Dublin on St Patrick's Day with all parades cancelled amid coronavirus outbreak Close

17/03/20
St Patrick's Day scenes in Temple bar Dublin this afternoon. Photo Stephen Collins/Collins Photos

17/03/20 St Patrick's Day scenes in Temple bar Dublin this afternoon. Photo Stephen Collins/Collins Photos

A virtually empty Burgh Quay in Dublin on St Patrick’s Day 2020.Picture Credit:Frank McGrath
17/3/20

A virtually empty Burgh Quay in Dublin on St Patrick’s Day 2020.Picture Credit:Frank McGrath 17/3/20

Aleksei Wishtibeew from Russia pictured on a virtually empty O Connell bridge in Dublin on St Patrick’s Day 2020.Picture Credit:Frank McGrath
17/3/20

Aleksei Wishtibeew from Russia pictured on a virtually empty O Connell bridge in Dublin on St Patrick’s Day 2020.Picture Credit:Frank McGrath 17/3/20

A Virtually empty Parnell Square East in Dublin on St Patrick’s Day 2020.Picture Credit:Frank McGrath
17/3/20

A Virtually empty Parnell Square East in Dublin on St Patrick’s Day 2020.Picture Credit:Frank McGrath 17/3/20

Ebenezer Laleye from Dunshaughlin pictured with his siblings, Naomi and Samuel on Dublin’s O Connell Street on St Patrick’s Day 2020.Picture Credit:Frank McGrath
17/3/20

Ebenezer Laleye from Dunshaughlin pictured with his siblings, Naomi and Samuel on Dublin’s O Connell Street on St Patrick’s Day 2020.Picture Credit:Frank McGrath 17/3/20

A virtually empty Talbot Street in Dublin on St Patrick’s Day 2020.Picture Credit:Frank McGrath
17/3/20

A virtually empty Talbot Street in Dublin on St Patrick’s Day 2020.Picture Credit:Frank McGrath 17/3/20

A virtually empty Dame Street in Dublin on St Patrick’s Day 2020.Picture Credit:Frank McGrath
17/3/20

A virtually empty Dame Street in Dublin on St Patrick’s Day 2020.Picture Credit:Frank McGrath 17/3/20

Dublin’s O Connell Street on St Patrick’s Day 2020.Picture Credit:Frank McGrath
17/3/20

Dublin’s O Connell Street on St Patrick’s Day 2020.Picture Credit:Frank McGrath 17/3/20

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17/03/20 St Patrick's Day scenes in Temple bar Dublin this afternoon. Photo Stephen Collins/Collins Photos

Finance

  • A three-month payment holiday for mortgage holders impacted by the Covid-19 is to be put in place by all banks

  • AIB is suspending the planned introduction of the contactless fee
  • Bank of England has cut its main interest rate to 0.25pc from 0.75pc
  • Britain’s Royal Bank of Scotland, which owns Ulster Bank here, and the Italian banks say they will allow deferment of mortgage and loan repayments for up to three months for customers affected by the coronavirus
  • RBS will also waive early closure charges on fixed savings accounts and provide refunds on credit card cash advance fees to help affected customers
  • Bank of Ireland said it will offer payment breaks and flexible arrangements on mortgages and loans for up to three months if people can’t pay due to the virus
  • Ulster Bank said it would allow mortgage and loan repayments to be deferred for up to three months

International

  • Boris Johnson announced three-week lockdown, advising Britons to stay at home except when shopping for basic necessities, and to perform one type of exercise a day.

  • Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar and the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson have agreed to “align their actions” in response to the Covid 19 outbreak

  • The White House is to propose roughly 850 billion dollars in emergency economic stimulus to address the coronavirus threat

  • The EU has also announced plans for a 30-day ban on non-residents entering the bloc
  • Boris Johnson has advised against ‘non-essential’ contact, unnecessary travel and to work from home

  • The French government has ordered all non-essential public locations to shut

  • Trump has declared coronavirus outbreak a national emergency

  • Philip Jansen, chief executive of BT Group, has tested positive with Covid-19

  • French President Emmanuel Macron has said that all of the country’s schools, kindergartens and universities are to be closed

  • UK health Minister Nadine Dorries has tested positive for COVID-19. Restrictions are being placed on visitor access to the Palace of Westminster
  • Italy has said all stores except pharmacies and food outlets will be closed

The latest updates on coronavirus spread...

There is now a total of 1,329 confirmed coronavirus cases in the Republic of Ireland.

The total number of deaths linked to Covid-19 has risen to seven following the death of a man in the east of the country.

Cases have now been confirmed in every county.

Breakdown of counties and age groups

An analysis from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HSPC) as of midnight March 17 on 350 confirmed cases showed Dublin has the highest amount of cases at 172, followed by Cork at 62, and Limerick at 14.

Of the 350 cases notified, 55 pc are male and 43 pc are female, with 26 clusters.

84 cases are associated with healthcare workers, 28 of whom are associated with foreign travel.


Online Editors


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