Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said the country's schools, colleges and childcare facilities are to close in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

From 6pm this evening, schools, colleges and childcare facilities will close.

In relation to cultural events, indoor gatherings of more than 100 people will not be permitted while outdoor events of more than 500 people will not be allowed.

Mr Varadkar made the announcement in Washington DC where he is visiting as part of the St Patrick's Day celebrations, much of which have been cancelled in light of coronavirus.

More details on the closures will be made public throughout the day.

There has been one death in Ireland of a person with Covid-19 out of 43 confirmed cases of coronavirus.

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