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Taoiseach announces closure of schools/colleges and bans large gatherings

Coveney "I am a husband and father- I understand the gravity"

Taoiseach announces closure of schools/colleges and bans large gatherings

An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has made the following statement in relation to measures to combat the further spread of coronavirus.

Speaking from Blair House in Washington he announced the following measures. The following measures will come into effect from tomorrow until 29 March:

Schools colleges and childcare facilities will close from tomorrow.

Indoor mass gatherings of more than 100 people and outdoor mass gatherings of more than 500 people should be cancelled.

Where it is possible to work remotely people should do so.

Mr Varadkar added that we need the public and businesses to take a sensible approach stressing that shops will remain open.

The Taoiseach said the National Public Health Emergency Team met last night and updated its guidelines.

He said for most people the disease will be mild, but for older people and those with underlying conditions the situation is more serious.

He said there will be many more cases of Covid-19 and we must face the tragic reality that more people will die.

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Tanáiste, Simon Coveney further said these were unprecedented times for an unprecedented situation.

"We are acting on the advice of the very best experts. We are asking people to stay apart. Connectivity which  makes us who we are must be minimised to help slow down the spread and protect the most vulnerable 

"Where we can, we should work remotely and reduce face to face contact. 

"I am a father and a husband and I understand - we must do this together, support each other and our health care workers.

Minister of Health Simon Harris said: "We have taken the right measures at the right time. There is now a need for a public conversation - what can you do to help this situation, to help the elderly and the more vulnerable. The state will do everything possible but we all now have a collective responsibility."

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