March 24, 2020 / 4:23 PM / in 14 days

Ireland tightens coroanvirus restrictions, boosts rescue package

DUBLIN, March 24 (Reuters) - Ireland banned all non-essential travel within the country and shut non-essential retail on Tuesday to battle coronavirus as it significantly increased income support for those already left unemployed and workers at risk of joining them.

The additional measures are on top of some three billion euros already committed to boost sick pay, fund the health service and offer assistance to businesses, Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said.

Ireland has reported 1,125 cases and six deaths so far.

A weekly unemployment emergency payment introduced two weeks ago will increase to 350 euros from 203 euros. The state will also pay 70% of workers’ wages - up to a maximum of 410 euros per week - for applicable firms, Varadkar added. (Reporting by Padraic Halpin Editing by Gareth Jones)

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