Monday, 27 Sep 2021

Lockdown POLL: As Ireland shuts down, should Boris close shops, pubs and restaurants?

We will use your email address only for sending you newsletters. Please see our Privacy Notice for details of your data protection rights. readers can vote in our poll on whether the Prime Minister should close shops, pubs and restaurants. And let us know more about what you think by scrolling down and leaving a comment.

Our poll comes as the Irish Government has ordered the highest level of restrictions under its five-tiered coronavirus plan from midnight on Wednesday for six weeks.

Under the draconian restrictions, only essential retail can remain open.

Restaurants, cafes and bars are limited to takeaway services only.

No social or family gatherings will be allowed in homes or gardens.

People are being asked to stay at home, with exercise permitted within a 5km radius of where they live.

Those who can work from home have been told to do so, while construction and most manufacturing will continue.

Schools and creches will also stay open despite the lockdown.

And weddings will be allowed with a maximum of 25 guests.

Irish premier Micheal Martin announced the measures, which last until December 1, in an address to the nation from Government Buildings in Dublin on Monday evening after they were approved by Cabinet ministers.

The Taoiseach described the move to level 5 restrictions as “very, very serious”.

The Fianna Fail leader said: “There are no laws or powers that can change the nature of this virus,” he said.

“Many people have done everything that has been asked of them. But some have not.

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“As Taoiseach, I am asking everyone again to take this threat seriously.”

Mr Martin insisted he understood the “sense of disappointment, the feelings of loneliness, perhaps even the despair” that the announcement would bring for many people.

He said: “The days are getting shorter and colder but I ask you to remember this: even as the winter comes in, there is hope. And there is light.”

The Irish premier added that if everyone pulled together, the country would be able to celebrate Christmas “in a meaningful way”.

He said: “It won’t be the same Christmas that we have enjoyed in years past, but if we all pull together and follow the spirit of these new rules, it will be a very special time and will give us all some respite from the hardship of the last seven months.

“If each of us does what is asked of us for a period of just six weeks, we will suppress this virus and we will emerge from these restrictions on December 1.”

Ireland confirmed 1,031 new coronavirus cases on Monday, taking the overall total to more than 50,000.

The second lockdown in Ireland comes as Mr Johnson is favouring a local approach to tackling coronavirus in England, with swathes of the country under tighter restrictions.

But the Prime Minister is under mounting pressure to order a short lockdown – dubbed a circuit-breaker – in response to surging cases.

The UK reported 18,804 further cases of the virus yesterday, bringing the total since the start of the pandemic to 741,212.

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