DUBLIN (Reuters) – Ireland’s prime minister told citizens to stay home until April 12 to help slow the spread of coronavirus, only leaving to shop for groceries, for brief individual physical exercise or to make family visits that are absolutely essential.

Almost all shops will be shut, all public gatherings outside of family units prohibited completely, and those over the age of 70 or with chronic diseases will be told to stay in their homes completely for the period, Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said.

“I’m appealing to every man, woman and child to make these sacrifices for the love of each other… Show that you care for your family and friends: Stay home,” Varadkar told a news conference, saying there was not much more beyond this the government could do that would be more restrictive.


(This story corrects date in first paragraph to April 12 from April 11)


(Reporting by Padraic Halpin; Editing by Chris Reese)

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