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Ireland to reimpose national lockdown amid surge in COVID-19 cases

Ireland to reimpose national lockdown amid surge in COVID-19 cases
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Ireland's government is set to impose a six-week lockdown on the entire country as COVID-19 cases continue to rise, according to The New York Times.

The country will become the first in Europe to reimpose a nationwide lockdown when it shuts down nonessential businesses on Wednesday night, according to the Times.

“While we have slowed the spread of the virus, this has not been enough and further action is required,” Micheal Martin, the taoiseach, or leader of the government, said in a national address on Monday night, the Times reported.

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Irish residents will be urged to remain at home and restaurants will be relegated to takeout or delivery only, according to the Times.

The country will impose fines on people who travel more than 5 km from their homes during the lockdown, The Guardian reported.

While schools and child care providers will remain open under the new action, gatherings and visits to private homes will be prohibited, the Times reported.

“If we pull together over the last six weeks, we will have the opportunity to celebrate Christmas in a meaningful way,” Martin told the nation, according to the Times.

Ireland reported 1,031 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, according to The Guardian. The total number of cases there is 50,993, according to John Hopkins University's count. 

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President TrumpDonald John TrumpGeraldo Rivera on Trump sowing election result doubts: 'Enough is enough now' Murkowski: Trump should concede White House race Scott Atlas resigns as coronavirus adviser to Trump MORE has made public comments in the past about avoiding a future lockdown in the U.S. Though coronavirus cases have risen across the country, Trump said he would not be in favor of a lockdown.

“[Joe] Biden would terminate our recovery, delay the vaccine, prolong the pandemic and annihilate Florida’s economy with a draconian, unscientific lockdown,” Trump said at a Florida rally in October, seeking to frame the narrative around his Democratic opponent in the presidential election. 

Biden has not pledged to reimpose lockdowns if he becomes president, saying only that he'll "listen to the scientists."