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What is a ‘Circuit Breaker’ lockdown?

Recently Irish people are hearing the word ‘Circuit breaker’ frequently. Circuit break is a type of lockdown, which will be short but also strict.

The main aim of the circuit breaker is to reduce the transmission rate in a quick and short period of time.

The approach is named after the device that is used to suspend electricity when there is an overflow of current.

In the wake of Covid, this term was first used by the Singapore government to refer to the precautions that must be taken during the pandemic in April.

Circuit breaker was only supposed to last a month, but in Singapore it was again extended because of the hike in transmission rate. Thus, it was ended almost two months later.

Even though there was an extension in the circuit breaker, the Singapore government had said that it had worked for them, because Singapore haven’t entered a second wave.

With or without using the name circuit breaker, a lot of other nations had adopted the same pattern and had imposed tight measures for a short period of time.

New Zealand’s Auckland did a 12 days extension of lockdown and certain media reported that is a circuit breaker.

Another referral of circuit breaker came from Melbourne, the Australian city was under tight restrictions from August 2. Now the city has lifted a lot of restrictions including curfew and shutdown of schools and certain other restrictions are implemented also.  

By mid of September Israel also adopted a circuit breaker kind of plan and implemented lockdown for a period of three weeks. But even today, the imposed restrictions are still in business.

Scotland’s circuit breaker was brief compared to others, the pubs in central Scotland were asked to shut down for just more than two weeks last Wednesday as a circuit breaker measure.

Their First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the limited measures were a “short, sharp action” to reduce the spread of the virus.

Ireland’s circuit breaker

Without using the term circuit breaker, NPHET has recommended the Irish government to impose level 5 restrictions for a period of four weeks, instead the government decided to apply level 3 in the country.  

While Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has said a circuit breaker may be needed, Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly has said it is not under consideration.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has expressed doubts over the efficacy of a two-week lockdown action.

Now such Northern Ireland is looking forward for such kind of restrictions as the number of cases in that region is skyrocketing.

One of the main reasons that pulls back the authorities from giving a thumbs up to circuit breaker lockdown is that the government need to fund thousands of business and employees to stop them from falling into financial crises.

Authorities in the North suggested that the short-term lockdowns will be effective only if it is applied on both side of the border.

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