Ireland clamps down amid spike in coronavirus cases: 'We are at another critical moment'

Ireland clamps down amid spike in coronavirus cases: 'We are at another critical moment'
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Ireland's government on Tuesday announced a new set of restrictions on public life meant to stop the spread of the coronavirus as the country faces a possible spike in infections.

Sky News reported that the new restrictions include limits on public gatherings, advisories to avoid public transportation and a provision directing businesses to allow workers to telecommute when possible.

"We're absolutely not at a stage where we can return to normality. We are at another critical moment," said the country's prime minister, Micheál Martin, at a press conference Tuesday, according to Sky.

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"We're now seeing multiple clusters throughout the country, in people's homes, in multiple workplaces and in a number of other social settings," Martin added.

Ireland has seen its rate of new coronavirus infections largely flatten since earlier this year but in recent days has reported a sharp jump in new cases; on Saturday, 200 new cases were reported, the highest number in a single day since May. A week prior, the country reported a similar spike of 174 new cases in a single day.

Just over 27,000 cases have now been confirmed within Ireland's borders, resulting in nearly 1,800 deaths. Earlier this week the country's acting top health minister, Ronan Glynn, accused some Irish citizens of acting "recklessly" in the face of restrictions being loosened over the past several months.

"The phased reopening of the country has afforded people the opportunity to socialise with each other again," Glynn said, according to the BBC. "However, some are doing this recklessly and undermining the efforts of the majority of people around the country who are following public health advice. This cannot continue."

"This pandemic isn't over just because we are tired of living with it," added Glynn.