DUBLIN (NewsNation Now) — Ireland’s government is putting the country at its highest level of coronavirus restrictions for six weeks in a bid to combat a rise in infections.
Ireland announced some of Europe’s toughest COVID-19 constraints on Monday, shutting non-essential retail, limiting restaurants and pubs to takeout or delivery service and telling people not to travel more than 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) from their home.
Ireland imposed one of Europe’s longest lockdowns during the first rise in cases and has tightened restrictions over the last number of weeks as infections climbed again.
Unlike the first lockdown, this time schools and childcare services will stay open and essential services such as construction are allowed to continue, Prime Minister Micheal Martin said as he moved the country to Level 5, the highest level of restrictions, for six weeks.
Effective at midnight local time (7 p.m. ET), the restrictions will last until at least December 2 under the latest lockdown order, the Irish government news service, RTE, reports.
All but essential travel is banned on the island and flights will continue between the U.S. and Ireland, however, all visitors must self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. Hotels/hostels can only remain open for providing essential, non-tourist services.
Ireland has averaged around 1,300 new cases of COVID-19 each day for the past two weeks. In the same time, the number of coronavirus-related hospitalizations have more than doubled.
Reuters contributed to this report.