Government introduces additional restrictions to help tackle the spread of Covid-19

“I’m asking you to stay at home if at all possible” says the Taoiseach.

Leo Varadkar was speaking as he introduced a range of additional restrictions to help tackle the spread of Covid-19.

People are being asked to stay at home and gatherings of more than four people, not from the same household, are to be banned.

You should only leave home to go to work if your work is essential and can’t be done remotely.

COVID emergency payment is to be increased to €350 a week. As will illness benefit, with the chance for companies to top that up further.

Companies can benefit from 70 per cent back from the government if they keep people employed and pay the other 30 per cent.

All theatres, clubs, hairdressers and other businesses are to close. Hotels are to restrict occupancy as much as possible, and all cafes and restaurants will be takeaway only.

Construction sites and factories don’t have to be shut but physical distancing should be introduced.

Varadkar also said no travel within or outside Ireland should happen unless it’s absolutely necessary, and that all planned cruise ship travel to Ireland will cease.

Private hospitals have agreed to work free of charge as public hospitals, which should add 2,000 beds.