Hospitals are already struggling to cope.
But An Taoiseach Michéal Martin hopes that banning all household visits nationwide will stem the second wave of coronavirus sweeping the country.
As part of “enhanced Level 3 restrictions”, all household and garden visits are prohibited from midnight tonight, except for essential childcare and compassionate reasons.
While this weekend’s weddings will be permitted to go ahead, the Taoiseach said there has been some slippage in the public’s adherence to the coronavirus advice, adding that life will not return to normal until a vaccine is available.
“If we all collectively adhere to the guidelines and adapt our behaviour we can beat the virus,” he said,
Up to six people from no more than two households can meet outside of the home, provided social distancing is adhered to.
The government has also agreed to move Donegal, Cavan and Monaghan to Level 4 of the Living with Covid-19 framework.
A total of 1,095 cases of Covid-19 were reported in the past 24 hours, with five further deaths from the disease. Of the new cases, there are 118 are in Cork, 246 in Dublin, 185 in Meath, 128 in Cavan and 63 in Kildare. The remaining 342 cases are spread across all remaining counties.
People are understandably tired. It is hard to live in the shadow of a pandemic. Unfortunately Covid-19 does not get tired, and so we must remain mindful. Please follow the letter and spirit of this guidance. We need to reduce the spread to protect lives and our health service.
— Stephen Donnelly (@DonnellyStephen) October 14, 2020
As of 2pm on Wednesday, , 232 Covid-19 patients are hospitalised, of which 30 are in ICU. There have been nine additional hospitalisations in the past 24 hours, with reports suggesting Cork’s Mercy and CUH ICU units are at capacity.
“This situation is extremely concerning. Every single one of us has a role to play,” said Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan
“We each need to reduce contact with other people as much as possible, so that means staying at home, working from home where possible, practising physical distancing and stopping discretionary socialising.”
Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr. Ronan Glynn appealed to the public to “make choices”.
“Stop meeting up in groups, stop socialising, stop organising play dates, parties and other social activities,” he said.
“People must recognise that the disease is a direct threat to themselves and their families. Now is the time for each of us to act.”