From midnight tonight, every bar, pub and hotel bar in the Republic of Ireland will be closed.

The measure comes as the government begins to take more stringent measures to halt the spread of coronavirus. In a statement given to media moments ago, the closure was announced following consultation from the Licensed Vintners Association and the Vintners Federation of Ireland.

On top of this order, the government is also discouraging the public from holding private house parties and other venues which would put people at risk from spreading and exposure to COVID-19. In the past hour, the bars and pubs of Temple Bar announced that they were to close bars and pubs following backlash from videos circulating online yesterday that showed venues in the area packed with patrons, exceeding the government guidelines for over 100-indoor gatherings.

So far, restaurants and cinemas have instituted social distancing guidelines, however, a number of restaurants and at least one cinema chain have closed doors as a deterrent against public gatherings.

The statement also outlines that the closure will run to at least March 29th, and added that the measures are to help stop the spread of COVID-19, as cases are now beginning to rise in Ireland.