Ireland coronavirus LOCKDOWN: Gatherings of 100+ people BANNED – Varadkar issues warning | World | News

Irish premier Leo Varakdar said the Government may seek enforcement powers to ensure that the ban on indoor mass gatherings of more than 100 people applies to pubs and clubs.

The Taoiseach tweeted: “No indoor mass gatherings of more than 100 people applies to pubs & clubs. Have asked NPHET for further expert guidance on this. May seek enforcement powers from Dail/Seanad.”

Mr Varakdar’s message comes despite restrictions on mass gatherings in Ireland and guidelines on social distancing.

Last night, Health Service Executive chief executive Paul Reid urged pubs to “wise up quick” after pictures and videos emerged on social media of crowds of people out drinking.

He said on Twitter: “As we all commit to the battle that is #Covid19, I express my deepest sympathies to the family & friends of the patient who died today from this.

“It truly breaks my heart. Time for some pubs/clubs to wise up quick.”

And Ireland’s Health Minister Simon Harris said crowds in pubs were an “insult” to the efforts of healthcare workers.

He retweeted a video of people crammed into Dublin’s Temple Bar on Saturday and said: “Not far from here, nurses & doctors are working to prepare for the impact of a global pandemic. Everyone is working 24/7.

“This is an insult to their efforts. There is very clear public health advice. Follow it. All options will be kept under constant review.”

Some pubs and bars across the country have voluntarily closed as the Department of Health advised people to keep two metres away from others.

Speaking this morning, Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin said: “The advice on what each of us needs to do is clear, we all need to follow that advice, not just for our own health, but for the benefit of all those around us.

“Each one of us needs to think of vulnerable people in our midst and ask ourselves what we can do to help them through this.”

And Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald urged people to avoid socialising in pubs and to cut social contact to a minimum.

There have been 129 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Ireland, with two deaths.

This is a breaking story. More to follow.

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