Coronavirus: The seven 'essential' groups as Ireland heads for lockdown

Coronavirus: The seven 'essential' groups as Ireland heads for lockdown

Seven key groups of people have been identified as essential to run the State and are exempt from the lockdown ordered by government.

They are those involved in:

  • Healthcare and social care
  • Public and civil service
  • Utilities
  • Necessary goods food and medicines
  • Financial services
  • Transport
  • Communications including journalists

What was announced on Friday night represents the most drastic clampdown of our personal freedoms and liberties in living memory.

The Covid-19 virus, which has killed 22 people so far in Ireland, has been a gamechanger like no other in terms of the impact it has had and is having on life here and across the globe.

This is bigger than foot and mouth, bigger than September 11. This is the greatest restriction on movement and economic activity since the Second World War.

Taking to the podium in Government Buildings, we got more of the focused, calm and composed Leo Varadkar who confidently delivered the stark news.

We must all stay home for two weeks, with very few exceptions.

The Taoiseach called on the public to accept these severe restrictions on their personal freedoms for the greater good.

“I'm asking people to give meaning to our freedom and liberty by agreeing to these restrictions, restricting how we live our lives, so that others may live and asking us for a time to forego our personal liberties and freedoms for a greater cause," he said.

And I'm appealing to every man, woman and child to make these sacrifices out of self-interest for the love of each other.

Mr Varadkar said he was personally slow to use the phrase lockdown, but conceded the measures being imposed are “very restrictive”.

1Coronavirus: The seven 'essential' groups as Ireland heads for lockdown

“This is very restrictive, we are saying 'do not leave your home'. There is not much more beyond this we could do to further restrict people,” Mr Varadkar said.

The Taoiseach said he was not concerned about panic buying saying there is enough food in the country to feed 40m people.

“We are not closing the supermarkets,” the Taoiseach added.

The scale and pace of what has engulfed us as a country has been breath-taking, but we have been told time and time again that we are just at the beginning of this crisis.

So far, the vast majority of the Irish public have bought into the national sense of community and shared purpose.

A few idiots have defied such wonderful collective spirit. But the restrictions now in place will undoubtedly place the greatest strain on that spirit and national effort.

    Useful information
  • The HSE have developed an information pack on how to protect yourself and others from coronavirus. Read it here
  • Anyone with symptoms of coronavirus who has been in close contact with a confirmed case in the last 14 days should isolate themselves from other people - this means going into a different, well-ventilated room alone, with a phone; phone their GP, or emergency department - if this is not possible, phone 112 or 999 and in a medical emergency (if you have severe symptoms) phone 112 or 999

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