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Ireland Is The First European Country To Return To Nationwide Shutdown
Going into the winter months, many people predicted a coronavirus resurgence. We’ve seen cases rising in states across the country and now, Ireland is the first European country to reinstate a nationwide lockdown, urging everyone to “stay at home.”
“Ireland will be the first country in Europe to go back into a national lockdown,” Deputy Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said at a news conference, where he also drew comparisons to the pandemic of 1918, noting that the second wave was worse than the first. “That’s not inevitable this time,” he said. “We can make sure the second wave is only a ripple, but that depends on all of us.”
Varadkar said the move could result in 150,000 people losing their jobs and cost the government 1.5 billion euros. But he said the country needed to take a “preemptive strike” against the virus “before it is too late.”
The European nation has entered into a six-week lockdown as countries across Europe prepare for the second wave. With even tighter restriction this time around, Irish citizens are required to stay at home and to exercise within only a three-mile radius of their homes. Restaurants, cafes and bars can stay open for takeaway and deliveries, but most nonessential retail establishments will close, including hairdressers and barbers.
The Prime Minister Micheál Martin is committed to keeping schools open with in-person classes, emphasizing that children need their education.
“We cannot and will not allow our children and young people’s futures to be another victim of this disease,” he said.
Ireland, with a population of five million, has recorded over 58,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 1,890 deaths at the time this article was published.
“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,” said Prime Minister Micheál Martin.