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Covid-19 cases rise: Taoiseach warned that the country is ‘at another critical moment’

In light of the rise in Covid-19 cases in Ireland, the government responded with a range of new public health measures.

The country has reported a new 190 positive cases which means we now have a five-day rolling average of 116.

In the background of these instances, as the Taoiseach Micheál Martin put it, the country is “at another critical moment.”

“Until there is a vaccine, we have to keep our guard up. We have to suppress the virus in order to progress further as an economy and as a society,” the Taoiseach said.

Health Minister Stephen Donnelly said that, Ireland’s 14-day cumulative cases per 100,000 of population is now at 26, higher than countries like UK and Portugal.

Mr. Martin said the government was “significantly tightening key restrictions” until 13 September.

The key changes:

  • Reduced to six the number of visitors allowed in the home. This restriction is applicable to social and family visits.
  • Indoors, such as at an exercise class, no more than six people from three households should meet.
  • Outdoor gatherings are being restricted to 15 people from 200, with all fans banned from sport. 
  • There are exemptions for weddings, at which 50 people will be still allowed attend.
  • Restaurants, cafes and pubs that serve food can stay open. But must close at 11.30pm. 
  • People aged over 70 and those at greater risk of serious illness are being asked to avoid crowded settings, reconsider staycations, and shop during designated hours.
  • The public is urged to use their private vehicles and face covering is needed when travelling in a car with someone from another household.  
  • Gardai will get greater powers to enforce the rules.

 Alone, the organisation that supports older people, appreciated the measures announced today to protect older people from the virus.

The current restriction on pubs for serving alcohol will remain same, but Martin told reporters that the issue would be revisited before the end of the month.  

The Taoiseach said that there is a need for immediate punishment where there is a clear violation of public health measures, as this clearly has a ripple effect across the wider community.

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