Coronavirus: Widespread closures across NW

A range of businesses, service providers and other outlets across the north west have been announcing they are closing or curtailing their services because of the coronavirus.

And in one of the most dramatic indications of the seriousness of the situation, all pubs, including hotel bars, are closed from today, the day before St Patrick’s Day.

There are already three confirmed cases of the virus in the region.

Yesterday, there were 40 new confirmed cases in Ireland, made up of 23 men and 17 women.

Although no new cases were announced for the north west, 9 are associated with the west.

There are now 169 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ireland, with 2 deaths associated with the virus.

Meanwhile, businesses — from restaurants, pubs, hairdressers and some shops — have announced complete shutdowns while some restaurants are reducing the number of tables so to allow adequate distance between groups of patrons.

Supermarkets remain open and people are advised there is no need for panic buying.

All pubs and bars were directed to close from last night but in some cases, pubs in the region had already announced they were closing before the request from government yesterday evening.

A number of hotels have even decided to close, such as the Central and Abbey Hotels in Donegal Town and the Yeats County Inn Hotel in Curry, in South Sligo.

Blaine Gaffney, is proprietor of Lillie’s Cocktail Bar in Sligo, which has also closed.

He says we are in an unprecedented time and decisions are being taken in the interest of public health.

Meanwhile, the Government is calling on all members of the public not to organise or participate in any parties in private house or other venues which would put other peoples lives at risk.