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Coronavirus live updates: The latest event cancellations across Ireland and abroad



A total of 223 people have tested positive for coronavirus in the Republic and this figure could reach 15,000 by the end of the month, health experts have warned.

ndependent.ie reporters will keep you up to date with the latest updates across Ireland as officials take precautions amid the coronavirus outbreak.

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Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has advised against all indoor gatherings of over 100 people and outdoor gatherings of over 500 people amid the coronavirus outbreak. Pubs have shut, events have been postponed and some businesses have decided to temporarily close. Here are the latest updates, cancellations, and closures:

  • Sky has confirmed that from the 14 March it will not be charging for Sky Sports service until a live sport schedule returns, the Licensed Vintners Association has said.

  • Tesco, Lidl and Iceland supermarket chains are all dedicating several hours each morning to prioritise older and more vulnerable customers. Details can be found here.

  • All St Patrick’s Day parades across the country due to take place today have been cancelled

  • An Garda Siochana is hiring 210 ‘contingency cars’ which will be manned by garda members and will assist and support people in the community. This will include collecting medical prescriptions, attending hospital appointments and other supports

  • Hairdressing chain Peter Mark has closed all salons in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland until March 29
  • All pubs have been ordered to close until at least March 29 and people urged not to have or attend house parties

  • This year’s VHI Women’s Mini Marathon has been postponed amid the “growing threat” of the coronavirus outbreak

  • The Catholic Church has suspended the obligation to be physically present at Mass on Sundays and Holy Days, including St Patrick’s day

  • Confirmations are have been scrapped and weddings, funerals and baptisms can only go ahead if under 100 people attend. There is also no obligation to attend Sunday mass, bishops say
  • Prison authorities are discussing the temporary release of at least 200 offenders to alleviate the risk of the coronavirus spreading to the jail population and staff with the Department of Justice

  • Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture events which were scheduled for March 29 have been cancelled

  • County councils have closed all libraries and some public amenities

  • The Road Safety Authority has suspended all driving tests until March 29 at the earliest

  • For the first time in its history, the kissing of the Blarney Stone has been postponed until further notice

  • No new jury trials at the Circuit Court or Central Criminal Court will be commenced in the next fortnight and non-urgent District Court matters will also be adjourned to future dates

  • The Book of Kells exhibition has been closed at Trinity College Dublin, as well as the Old Library, the Science Gallery and the Douglas Hyde Gallery
  • The Irish Catholic Bishops have recommended that churches leave holy water fonts empty, provide anti-bacterial gel at church entrances and an alternative to passing collection baskets

Health

  • The HSE is advising anyone with Covid-19 to continue to take any medication you were already taking, unless you are told not to by a healthcare professional, including anti-inflammatories (NSAID) such as ibuprofen, naproxen or diclofenac

  • The advisory comes after false information about anti-inflammatory medication circulating on social media over the last 24 hours

  • Hospitals are preparing to move patients to alternative facilities to make room for an expected surge of Covid-19 cases

  • Irish Pharmacy Union urge public not to stockpile medicine as pharmacies will remain open

  • FlyeFit gym chain will close all of its branches for 17 days. It will reopen on March 30

  • The Mater Hospital in Dublin said it is limiting activity and cancelling most non-essential waiting list surgery and outpatient appointments

Sport

  • Euro 2020 has been postponed until the summer of 2021, UEFA has announced

  • The Grand National, due to take place on April 4, has been cancelled

  • The Heineken Champions Cup and Challenge Cup quarter-finals have been postponed

  • The Bahrain Grand Prix and the Vietnam Grand Prix have been postponed

  • Olympics chief Thomas Bach said on Friday athletes were being encouraged to continue their preparations for Tokyo 2020

  • The Premier League has been suspended until April 4, the Football Association has announced
  • Scottish football has been suspended, with Sunday’s Old Firm clash between Celtic and Rangers postponed
  • Chelsea’s Callum Hudson-Odoi and Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta test positive for coronavirus

  • Everton first team squad self-isolating after player shows Covid-19 symptoms

  • UEFA announce all of next week’s Champions League and Europa League ties postponed

  • Racing in Britain is set to move behind closed doors later in the week, initially until the end of March, the British Horseracing Authority has announced
  • The GAA, An Cumann Camógaíochta and the LGFA have cancelled all activity at club, intercounty and educational levels until after March 29

  • All SSE Airtricity League games have also been pushed back

  • GAA have cancelled all games for a two week period

  • The Welsh FA has postponed Wales v United States, scheduled for March 30 in Cardiff. FAI and IRFU expected to follow suit

  • Basketball Ireland have cancelled all matches and events
  • Ireland’s Euro 2020 qualifier against Slovakia to be played behind closed doors on March 26
  • Six Nations: Ireland v Italy was cancelled last weekend and the Ireland v France clash has also been postponed

Education

  • University College Cork (UCC) has confirmed that a case of coronavirus has been identified in a person who visited the college’s Western Gateway Building on Western Road in recent days

  • Trinity College is asking students to leave campus accommodation after being alerted to at least eight cases on campus

  • The Irish National Teachers’ Organisation (INTO) Northern Secretary Gerry Murphy is urging the Stormont Executive and Chief Medical Officer, Dr Michael McBride, to revise the decision not to close the schools at this time
  • Schools and colleges are closed until March 29. Teaching will be done remotely where possible

Travel

  • Ryanair are reducing flights to and from Spain, the Balearic Islands and Canary Islands from Sunday, March 15 until March 20. The airline are today unchecking all customers booked on flights leaving Spain from 21 Match to 28 March and are advising them to apply for a free move on an alternative date online

  • Irish citizens have been urged not to travel overseas until March 29

  • Ryanair customers can now move their flight free of charge to a date in the future, but advise customers not to try to change to another date in April
  • An estimated 20,000 Irish holidaymakers and residents in Spain will be offered flights here in the coming days
  • Special flights being arranged to fly thousands of Irish home from Spain by Thursday

  • The Department of Foreign Affairs is now advising against non-essential travel to the Czech Republic, Cyprus, Denmark, Malta, Poland, and Slovakia, and will also be providing additional guidance on Spain, which remains at non-essential travel, while Italy remains at no travel

  • A 60-day temporary pause on the J-1 visa programme will currently not impact students travelling this summer

  • Anyone returning from Spain or Italy is asked by Health Minister Simon Harris to ‘restrict their movements for two weeks’

  • US President Donald Trump has extended his month-long travel ban to include Ireland and Britain

  • Ryanair and Aer Lingus have cancelled Italian flights; Ryanair has cancelled all Italian flights until April 8 and Aer Lingus have called all flights to and from Italy until April 3

  • The Department of Foreign Affairs has issued a ‘do not travel’ warning for Italy

Political

  • Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said up to 15,000 may be infected in just two weeks

  • Mr Varadkar has advised those who were out socialising over the weekend to “avoid physical contact with seniors or people with chronic diseases,” as “you could make them very very sick.”

  • Elaina Fitzgerald Kane, President of the Irish Hotels Federation, said the Department of Finance’s proposal to temporarily waive interest on late revenue payments will put “tens of thousands of jobs” at risk, and could cause tourism businesses to collapse

  • The comments come after Ministers Shane Ross and Brendan Griffin sought payments to local authorities, revenue, and for PRSI payment holidays arrears to be postponed during a meeting with Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe

  • All tours of Leinster House and visits not related to core legislative business have been cancelled

Finance

  • AIB is suspending the planned introduction of the contactless fee
  • Bank of England has cut its main interest rate to 0.25pc from 0.75pc
  • Britain’s Royal Bank of Scotland, which owns Ulster Bank here, and the Italian banks say they will allow deferment of mortgage and loan repayments for up to three months for customers affected by the coronavirus
  • RBS will also waive early closure charges on fixed savings accounts and provide refunds on credit card cash advance fees to help affected customers
  • Bank of Ireland said it will offer payment breaks and flexible arrangements on mortgages and loans for up to three months if people can’t pay due to the virus
  • Ulster Bank said it would allow mortgage and loan repayments to be deferred for up to three months

International

  • Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau announced on Monday the country would be partially closing its borders in response to Covid-19

  • Deaths from coronavirus in Spain have reached 288, with infections at nearly 8,000

  • The French government has ordered all non-essential public locations to shut after cases of the virus rose by more than 800 to 4,499

  • Trump has declared coronavirus outbreak a national emergency

  • Spanish prime minister Pedro Sanchez said his government will declare a two-week state of emergency on Saturday

  • The death of the first patient in Scotland takes the total for the UK to 11

  • Philip Jansen, chief executive of BT Group, has tested positive with Covid-19

  • French President Emmanuel Macron has said that all of the country’s schools, kindergartens and universities are to be closed

  • UK health Minister Nadine Dorries has tested positive for COVID-19. Restrictions are being placed on visitor access to the Palace of Westminster
  • A member of McLaren’s Formula One team is in self-isolation after being tested for coronavirus at the Australian Grand Prix
  • Italy has said all stores except pharmacies and food outlets will be closed

The latest updates on coronavirus spread…

There are now 275 confirmed cases of COVID-19 on the island of Ireland, 223 in the Republic and 52 in Northern Ireland.

There are two confirmed confirmed deaths linked to coronavirus in Ireland. The first recorded death was that of a woman at Naas General Hospital, the second being a man in the east who had an underlying condition.

Latest on the spread in Northern Ireland

  • There are 45 confirmed cases in Northern Ireland
  • The first “community transmission” cases have been confirmed.
  • A small number of medical procedures are not going ahead in Belfast in preparation for Covid-19, with space being set aside in the Mater Hospital as health chiefs brace themselves for an increase in the number of cases, PA reports.
  • Northern Ireland’s chief medical officer Dr Michael McBride has warned that some medical procedures may need to be cancelled if the worst predictions of coronavirus materialise.

Helplines:

  • The HSE can be contacted on 1850-24-1850 or visit www.hse.ie/coronavirus.
  • ALONE is offering additional supports for older people who have concerns or are facing difficulties relating to the outbreak of COVID-19. ALONE can be contacted on 0818-222-024

With additional reporting from PA

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