Ireland to close all schools from today amid Coronavirus outbreak

Schools and childcare facilities in Ireland will close from 6pm today, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has announced.

The facilities will not reopen until March 29 to help contain the spread of Covid-19,

Teaching will be done online or remotely.

State-run "cultural institutions" will close.

Schools and childcare facilities in Ireland will close from 6pm today. Photo PA.Schools and childcare facilities in Ireland will close from 6pm today. Photo PA.
Schools and childcare facilities in Ireland will close from 6pm today. Photo PA. | pa

Indoor gatherings of more than 100 people and outdoor meetings of more than 500 will be cancelled.

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Anyone entering Ireland will be informed of the measures and asked to self-isolate if they are displaying symptoms, the Irish premier added.

Working from home will be encouraged but where people do congregate in offices break times should be "staggered".

Meetings should be done remotely but restaurants, cafes and other businesses can stay open.

Mr Varadkar said: "People should seek to reduce social interactions as much as possible."

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Irish deputy premier Simon Coveney said the radical measures will be a lot for the Irish public to take in.

"We are asking Irish people to stay apart," he said.

"The days and weeks ahead will be difficult and the government cannot do this on its own.

"The most effective tool is to do everything we can to slow down the spread. Those who are vulnerable are precious.

"It will have a deep impact on people's abilities to do their job.

"We are asking people to continue to work where possible. Those who go to the places of work should limit contact."