Ireland will go into an emergency six-week lockdown from midnight on Wednesday in a bid to suppress Covid-19, announced Ireland’s Prime Minister Micheal Martin last night (October 19).

The country faces some of Europe’s toughest restrictions as it enters Level 5, with non-essential retail, pubs and restaurants closing until December 1.

The public will be told to stay at home, with exercise permitted within a three-mile radius of their home, and gatherings – except for groups of 10 at funerals and 25 at weddings – will be banned.

Construction will still be permitted and schools are set to remain open.

Mr Martin said: “”I am asking everyone to take this threat seriously.

“I understand the sense of disappointment, loneliness and despair this announcement will bring. Even as the winter comes in there is hope and there is light.

“If we pull together over the next six weeks we will be able to celebrate Christmas in a meaningful way.”

He added: “’We cannot and will not allow our children and young people’s futures to be another victim of this disease. The need their education.”

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