Government announces measures to combat Covid-19 extended to April 19

The government has announced that measures aimed at limiting the spread of Covid-19 have been extended until April 19th.

The Taoiseach Leo Vardakar made the announcement this afternoon.

In an address, he said that all theatres, clubs, hairdressers are to shut and hotels are to restrict occupancy as much as possible

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All cafes and restaurants to be takeaway only.

Leo Varadkar says construction sites and factories do not have to be shut but physical distancing can be employed.

No travel within or outside Ireland should happen unless it’s absolutely necessary and all planned cruise ship travel to Ireland will cease.

All sporting events even behind closed doors cancelled.

COVID emergency payment is to be increased to €350 a week. As will illness benefit with the chance for companies to top that up further.

Companies can benefit from 70% back from the government if they keep people employed and pay the other 30%

This will be capped at 38,000 salary a year or €410 a week from the government.

Private hospitals will work as public hospitals which should add 2,000 beds. They agreed to do that free of charge.

An emergency bill on Thursday will allow former members of the Defence Forces to be re-recruited at the rank they left at.