Ireland Goes Back Into Lockdown Because of COVID-19
The worst of the coronavirus pandemic is behind us, but it is still around. In fact many states in the US and countries around the world are seeing spikes in new cases. Ireland is one of those places, and it will will be the first European country to return to a nationwide shutdown.
During this shutdown, nonessential retail businesses are ordered to close. Residents are expected to stay within about 3 miles of their homes, except for work and some other essential activities. These restrictions will begin Thursday and will initially be in place for six weeks.
The shutdown is expected to put more than 200,000 people back on to Ireland’s unemployment program, barely weeks after many resumed work. Prime Minister Micheal Martin said they would receive emergency pandemic payments of up to €350 ($415 USD) a week.
These measures will not be nearly as strict as the ones put in place back in March when the pandemic was first getting started. Construction sites and schools will remain open for example.
The website of the U.S. Embassy in Ireland has also been updated today to reflect these changes. It notes that the government of Ireland requires visitors to restrict their movements and fill in a COVID-19 Passenger Locator Form indicating where they will self-isolate for 14 days. Additionally the website says that hotels, guesthouses, and B&Bs can provide services only to persons who are guests of those hotels or similar accommodation on the 21st day of October 2020 until the date of their departure.