BREAKING - Ireland's Coronavirus lockdown will be almost total until Easter Sunday

Leinster Express Reporter

Reporter:

Leinster Express Reporter

Kilkenny Kilkenny Kilkenny

Coronavirus

The lockdown to stem the spread of the coronavirus Covid-19 in Ireland will start from midnight and run to Easter Sunday.

The Taoiseach Leo Varadkar announced an extensive tightening of restrictions in a speech to the country. He said it was the most intensive phase of restrictions.

Circumstances in which people are allowed to leave home are for essential work, buying food, visiting doctor for medical appointments, caring for someone or exercising within 2km of home.

All non-essential health services will be postponed. 'Cocooning' will be introduced for those over 70 years of age.

All public and private gatherings outside of a single household will be prohibited.

Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, said the aim was to "drive the virus back into the community" where it can be isolated. He said there are clusters in nursing homes and 71 people being treated in ICU.

He said severe infections that result in ICU admission can be prevented if the spread is limited in the community.