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Coronavirus: Republic of Ireland to close schools and colleges

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Leo Varadkar

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Leo Varadkar said the public and businesses would need to take a sensible approach

Schools, colleges and other public facilities in the Republic of Ireland are to close in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

Taoiseach (Irish prime minister) Leo Varadkar said the measures would take effect from 18:00 on Thursday to 29 March.

The first death linked to coronavirus has been recorded in the Republic of Ireland.

The elderly woman died in a Dublin hospital on Wednesday.

Mr Varadkar said schools, colleges and childcare facilities will close from Friday.

He said indoor mass gatherings of more than 100 people and outdoor gatherings of more than 500 people should be cancelled.

He added that where it is possible to work remotely people should do so.

Mr Varadkar said the public and businesses needed to take a sensible approach, adding that the Irish cabinet would meet later and that Northern Ireland and GB would be briefed.

“I know that some of this is coming as a real shock and it is going to involve big changes in the way we live our lives and I know I’m asking people to make enormous sacrifices but we’re doing it for each other,” Mr Varadkar said.

“Our economy will suffer but it will bounce back.

“Lost time in school or college will be recovered and in time our lives will go back to normal.

“Ireland is a great nation, we’re great people, we’ve experienced hardship and struggle before, we’ve overcome many trials in the past.”

Mr Varadkar said shops should remain open and public transport will continue to operate.

He said the government would implement all resources, which are “substantial but not unlimited”, into addressing the issue.



BBC

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