Taoiseach warns of lockdown extension if people breach current restrictions

Justin Kelly


Justin Kelly



coronavirus covid-19

Taoiseach warns of lockdown extension if people breach current restrictions

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has warned of a possible extension to existing restrictions on movement if people fail to adhere to them until at least May 5.

In a government address this afternoon, Leo Varadkar said: "The gardaí already have very strong enforcement powers but I prefer to use the power of persuasion. We are in a situation now in Ireland where we do seem to have suppressed the virus in the community. There is the prospect of easing some of the restrictions after May 5 - all of us want that to happen - but it is actually in our hands if we do the right thing for the next 11 days.

"If we continue to wash our hands, maintain respiratory etiquette, keep our distance from other people and follow the guidelines set down by the Chief Medical Officer, that really increases our prospects of being able to ease restrictions from May 5."

However, he added, "but anyone who's thinking of breaking those restrictions, even if it's just for a few hours, or an afternoon or an evening, bear in mind the consequences. It could be having to extend the current lockdown by two or three weeks and that's not worth it just for a few hours of a breach."

"I'd really ask people to accept that message," he said.

The Minister for Health, Simon Harris, has echoed those sentiments, urging people to "work together" by staying apart and "sticking the course" of the current restrictions in order to make a slight easing possible about May 5.