Containment is making a comeback in Ireland, becoming the first country in the European Union to reconfigure its entire population, to fight against Covid-19. In a televised address on Monday, October 19, the country’s Prime Minister, Michael Martin, announced that this re-containment began on the night of Wednesday to Thursday and that it would last six weeks.
All non-essential businesses will have to close and bars and restaurants will only be able to serve take-out food, the head of government said. “We ask everyone in the country to stay at home,” added Micheal Martin. Only people with a job deemed essential will be “allowed to travel to work,” he said.
The Irish will also only be able to leave their homes to exercise within a three-mile radius of their place of residence, under penalty of fines. According to Michael Martin, schools and nurseries will remain open “because we cannot afford, and will not allow, that the future of our children and young people is another victim of this disease”.
“Celebrate Christmas properly”
Visits between different homes and indoor events will be banned, although professional sport will be allowed behind closed doors. The Prime Minister admitted that the Irish measures were “arguably the strictest in Europe”, but “further action is needed now”. “If we unite our efforts for the next six weeks, we will have the opportunity to celebrate Christmas properly,” he said.
The coronavirus pandemic has killed at least 1,852 people in Ireland, according to the latest official figures. After a peak of 77 deaths per day in April, the number of daily deaths has fallen to less than ten. None were reported for Monday. But like many other countries in Europe, Ireland is facing a spike in contaminations, with 1,031 new cases confirmed on Monday.
In addition, Wales, one of the nations of the United Kingdom, will be subject from Friday to a two-week confinement, the hardest measure introduced in the country since the first wave of Covid-19 in the spring.
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