Ireland bans gatherings of over 5,000 until end of August

Published: Updated:

Ireland on Tuesday said large-scale events would remain banned until the end of August, as part of measures to tackle the coronavirus outbreak.

The government said in a statement that local authorities had been told that “events requiring licenses in excess of 5,000 (people) will not be considered for the period up to the end of August.”

Ireland has recorded 15,652 coronavirus cases, with 687 deaths.

Ireland’s chief medical officer Tony Holohan said on Saturday the country has successfully “flattened the curve” of coronavirus transmission and no longer expects a peak in infections.”

"We think we’ve flattened that [...] curve so much that there is no peak,” he said on RTE’s Late Late show on Friday.

“We think we can go along at a low level and reduce it even further.”

He said nationwide adherence to a lockdown -- imposed until 5 May -- had “already saved hundreds of lives and admissions to intensive care.”

Ireland, like many other countries, had been bracing for a surge in cases, where transmission would peak and hospitals become overrun with patients.

But Holohan said analysis shows the reproductive rate of the virus -- the number of people a confirmed case typically spreads to -- is now below one.

“That means that on average a person who’s infected is passing it down to less than one person,” he said.

“If you continue on that path, the rate of infection in the population will continue to drop.”

Concerns remain over the high number of cases and mortality in residential care homes across the republic.

Around 60 percent of those who die from the virus come from long term residential care homes, Ireland’s Health Service Executive reported Friday.

Read more:

McDonald’s to close restaurants in UK and Ireland amid coronavirus outbreak

Before and after coronavirus: As humans lockdown, the planet air clears

US oil prices rebound above zero after coronavirus-triggered record collapse