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Taoiseach clarifies that 2km limit just for exercise, and confirms takeaways will stay open

“No need to do all shopping or stockpile this morning,” the Taoiseach said.

Leo Varadkar speaking earlier this week.
Leo Varadkar speaking earlier this week.
Image: Gareth Chaney

TAOISEACH LEO VARADKAR has clarified that the 2km limit on movement outside the home is for physical exercise and people can travel beyond this for food and medicine. 

Varadkar has also reminded people that there is no need to “do all shopping or stockpile” this morning as food shops and takeaways remain open.

The Taoiseach clarified that the 2km limit on movement outside the home is about exercising locally. People can travel beyond this 2km to buy food and medicines. 

“The supplies are good. We all have a part to play in rising to this challenge,” Varadkar wrote on Twitter this morning. 

Last night, people in Ireland were told to stay at home in all circumstances until 12 April, except in the following situations: 

  • To travel to and from work in circumstances where the work is in an essential health, social care and other essential service and the work cannot be done from home
  • To shop for essential food and household goods or collect a meal 
  • To attend medical appointments and collect medicines and other health products 
  • For vital family reasons, such as providing care to children, elderly or vulnerable people, but excluding social family visits 
  • To take brief individual physical exercise within your locality, which may include children from the household (e.g for a run or walk with/without dog) within 2km of the home (i.e within half an hour from the home) adhering to strict 2 metre social distancing measures 
  • For farming purposes – i.e. food production and/or care of animals 

The government yesterday evening published the list of essential retail outlets that can remain open from now until 12 April.

A list of essential non-retail services is expected to be released later today. 

Essential retail services include:

  • Retail and wholesale sale of food, drinks and newspapers
  • Retail sale of household consumer products necessary to maintain the safety and sanitation of houses and businesses
  • Pharmacies and chemists
  • Fuel stations 

Other businesses that were previously described as essential can now offer emergency call-out or delivery service. 

These include opticians, hardware stores and vehicle repair retailers.  

All public or private gatherings of any number of people are prohibited. ‘Cocooning’ will be introduced for those over 70 and people who are extremely vulnerable to the disease. 

Speaking yesterday evening, Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan said that recent measures adopted over the past two weeks have resulted in a drop in the number of contacts associated with each case of Covid-19 in Ireland. 

“This gives us encouragement that the public is working with us. We’ve also seen that the day-on-day increase in the total number of case has slowed down relative to what we might have expected a few weeks ago,” said Dr Holohan. 

“But this does not tell us the worst is over. It tells us we’re having some early impact,” he said. 

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