CORONAVIRUS LATEST: All schools and colleges in the Republic to close from later today until March 29

"We have not witnessed a pandemic of this nature... and this is uncharted territory for us" - Taoiseach Leo Varadkar

BREAKING: Taoiseach issues new Covid-19 directive

"We have not witnessed a pandemic of this nature... and this is uncharted territory for us."-Taoiseach Leo Varadkar

The Republic's schools, colleges and childcare facilities are to close in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

From 6pm today, schools, colleges and childcare facilities will close.

In relation to cultural institutions, indoor gatherings of more than 100 people will not be permitted and a maximum outdoor gathering of 500 people will be allowed.

The restrictions will stay in place until March 29.

In an address to the public today, Taoiseah Leo Varadkar said the coronavirus 'will continue to spread but it can be slowed'.

From 6pm today, the following restrictions will be in place in the south:

Schools, colleges and childcare facilities will close with all teaching to be conducted online where possible. 

Indoor mass gatherings of 100+ people have to be cancelled, whereas mass outdoor gatherings of 500+ must be cancelled. 

People entering Ireland through ports and airports must be fully informed, and self isolate if they present symptoms. 

Non essential social interaction and gatherings must be reconsidered, and people are urged to work from home where possible. 

Shops will remain open and supply chains will stay in production. 

Varadkar stated that 'acting as one nation we can save many lives' and social distancing should be take seriously.

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