THE Covid-19 restrictions will remain in place until May 5, An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has announced.
The televised announcement from the Taoiseach came following a meeting of the National Public Health Emergency (NPHE) team this afternoon.
The measures were first announced by Varadkar on March 27, two weeks ago today, and initially set in place to run until Easter Sunday.
“In the days ahead, we must continue to turn and walk away from each other,” he said.
“And from doing things we would like to do. But we will be all the more together for having done so.
“I know it is very difficult, but every sacrifice that we make, is helping to save lives. It’s making sure that our health service is not overwhelmed. It’s making things a little easier for those working on the frontline and those backing them up.
“Because the vast majority of people have heeded the voice of the experts, we have been able to interrupt the spread of the virus. We’ve been able to shelter the most vulnerable and protect them.”
As of yesterday evening, 267 people had died in the Republic of Ireland after being diagnosed with Covid-19.
Yesterday, 28 new deaths were reported while yesterday saw the biggest daily jump in confirmed cases, with 500 bringing the total number to 6,574.
Today’s confirmation of an extension of the measures was expected with the restrictions now in place until after the May Bank Holiday.
Under current restrictions, unnecessary journeys are prohibited. A distance of less than 2km must be observed, unless for necessary work, or shopping.
Exercise must also take place within 2km of people’s homes and a distance of 2m should be maintained with other members of the public.
Varadkar said: “We have slowed the spread of the virus considerably, but unfortunately we have not stopped it’s spread.
“We all know people who are suffering and grieving at this time. Too many have died and sadly more will die and get sick before this is over.
“So today’s message is that we cannot be complacent, and we cannot lose focus. What we are doing is difficult but it is making a difference and we have to keep going. We need to persevere and we need to maintain our discipline and resolve.
“All we can do for now, is to take one day at a time. To think of others, and to choose hope and solidarity over self-interest and fear.”