Coronavirus: Ireland bans major mass gatherings until autumn

Major public gatherings of more than 5,000 people have been banned in the Republic of Ireland until at least September due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

It means no major sporting fixtures or concerts will take place in the country this summer; large gatherings have been restricted since 24 March.

The government said local authorities had been advised not to consider licences for any such major events.

It confirmed 44 more coronavirus-linked deaths, bringing the total to 730.

Some 388 new cases of the disease have also been confirmed across the Republic of Ireland, bringing the total number of cases to 16,040.

The advice to ban major events will be “kept under review” in line with public health advice on mass gatherings, the government announced on Tuesday; further health advice on lockdown restrictions will be updated before 5 May.

It comes after the country’s finance minister said Irish GDP is set to fall by 10.5% this year.

Paschal Donohoe said that both the Irish and global economic landscape have fundamentally changed due to the outbreak of Covid-19.