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Coronavirus: Entire Irish cabinet enters self-isolation, says prime minister

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All members of the Irish cabinet entered self-isolation on Tuesday after the health minister displayed symptoms of the coronavirus, prime minister Micheal Martin said.

Health minister Stephen Donnelly is now being tested and “communication has gone to all ministers to restrict their movements pending the outcome of that test,” Martin told state broadcaster RTE.

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The measures were taken in “an abundance of caution” after Donnelly briefed the entire cabinet on new government coronavirus measures on Monday evening, he added.

Earlier Tuesday, Donnelly also appeared at a press conference alongside Martin and deputy prime minister Leo Varadkar announcing the fresh restrictions for the Dublin region.

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The Republic’s lower house of parliament was forced into suspension as news of the cabinet’s self-isolation unfolded.

Chairman Sean O Fearghail told lawmakers that “the possibility of proceeding with business does not arise” with the cabinet in isolation.

But Martin said parliament would reconvene later on Tuesday with more junior ministers of state standing in to “represent the government on certain issues.”

There have been 1,787 deaths from the coronavirus in Ireland, according to the latest health ministry figures.

Daily deaths peaked in mid-April, but Ireland is currently battling a surge in new cases, prompting the introduction of fresh restrictions for the capital.

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Dublin residents were asked on Tuesday to limit gatherings to no more than six from two different households and to avoid travel outside the region.

Whilst pubs in the rest of the nation are to reopen after a six-month closure next Monday, those in Dublin are to remain closed.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 16 September 2020 KSA 23:51 – GMT 20:51