A RANGE of new restrictions have been agreed by the Government in a bid to curb rising Covid-19 infections.
Schools will remain closed until the end of the month, but Leaving Cert students will be allowed to attend three days a week.
Leaving Cert students will return to school on Monday with others to remain at home.
The Cabinet met this afternoon to discuss new measures amid ever-rising new infections of Covid-19,
“When even a small minority ignore the guidelines, the wider impact can be incredibly serious,” the Taoiseach, Micheál Martin, said in a press conference.
“This has been a difficult decision. We must stop as much mobility within the country as we can for at least the next three weeks.
“People have been giving up so much for long, we may lose sight of why we are doing this.
“The lockdown we are introducing today is designed to reflect that stark and simple reality. You simply must stay at home.”
Click-and-collect services are expected to be suspended in what will come as a fresh blow to the retail sector.
Non essential construction projects will come to a halt at 6 o’clock on Friday.
Essential constructions projects – such as health projects specific to Covid-19, housing adaption grants, and critical maintenance for rail, roads and utility projects – will be exempt.
There will also be an exception for education and social housing construction.
Traders like plumbers, glazers, roofers and electricians, will be permitted to carry out emergency call-out work.
Childcare services, including regulated childminders and other childcare arrangements, will be allowed to continue to provide services – but only for vulnerable children and children of essential workers.
Cabinet also agreed that a ban on travel from Britain and South Africa will be be lifted from Saturday.
However, passengers must provide a negative PCR test from the previous 72 hours and isolate for 14 days on arrival to Ireland