Dublin tightens virus curbs for second time this week

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Dublin tightens virus curbs for second time this week

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Coronavirus restrictions were tightened for the second time in a week in Dublin on Friday as Ireland's capital becomes the epicenter of a new wave of infections across the country.

"Here in our capital, despite the efforts of the people in recent weeks, we are in a very dangerous place," said Prime Minister Michael Martin in a national televised address.

"Without further urgent and determined action, there is a real risk that Dublin will return to the worst days of this crisis."

The new measures, which include crossing Dublin County borders only for "work, education and other essential purposes", will take effect at 23:00 GMT and will last for three weeks.

Home visits are only permitted from another household with a maximum of six people.

Meanwhile, outdoor gatherings are limited to 15 and "there should be no organized indoor gatherings," Martin said.

Indoor restaurants in restaurants, pubs and cafes will also be discontinued.

Speaking at a press conference after the address, Martin said "there will be regulations for a whole range of measures," including an increased police presence in Dublin.

But he appealed to the residents to submit voluntarily.

A total of 1,792 people have died in the coronavirus outbreak in Ireland, according to the latest figures from the Department of Health.

Daily deaths peaked at 77 in April and are now constant in single digits. As everywhere in Europe, however, the country has seen a sharp increase in new infections.

Of the 253 new cases announced on Friday, 116 came from Dublin, and the incidence rate for 14 days in the city is roughly twice that of the US.

The new restrictions on Dublin County's 1.3 million residents follow a series of previous local measures announced on Tuesday.

The government then restricted household gatherings and announced that the city's so-called "wet pubs" – which only serve drinks – would not open on Monday in line with those in the rest of the country.

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© 2020 AFP

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