Ireland goes back into partial lockdown

Stricter coronavirus measures will be reintroduced in Ireland starting Wednesday night. Shops must close, and indoor gatherings between members of different households are forbidden. Schools and kindergartens will remain open, however. Taoiseach Micheál Martin announced in a televised address that the restrictions would initially apply for six weeks. The press is divided.

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Irish Independent (IE) /

Even stricter measures are needed

The new restrictions put in place by the Irish government do not go far enough, The Irish Independent criticizes:

“Certainly, the desire to keep schools and creches open is a noble one, but the decision won't help stem the flow of positive cases. Similarly, the desire to keep elite sports going is understandable but, in the face of all the other draconian rules, seems rather half-hearted - either we want to take drastic measures or we don't. Many people in the hospitality trade have pointed to the fact that they can't operate, yet our airports and ferry terminals continue to operate.”

The Irish Times (IE) /

A severe blow to the economy

The economy cannot withstand such measures for long, The Irish Times warns:

“Perhaps the most worrying part of the Government's presentation is the indication of successive opening and closing of the economy moving into 2021, until a vaccine becomes available. Living with the virus is clearly going to be really difficult, but Ireland must do all that it can, via testing and tracing and trying to develop more targeted and focused restrictions. The consequences of successive shutdowns on the scale of what is now being introduced are momentous. Economic activity cannot just be switched on and off.”