The Government has yet to define exactly who will be on the list of essential workers who will be allowed to work in the new COVID-19 lockdown, effective from midnight tonight.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said farming and food production would be exempt from the new restrictions, but it remains to be seen what ancillary agricultural services will be allowed to continue.

He said that people involved in “food production and the care of animals” would be allowed to travel.

On Friday night, a Government spokesperson said that a full list of essential workers will be published as early as possible on Saturday.

“In the interim, the Government advice for businesses and services which consider themselves essential service, is to remain open, pending publication of the list,” the spokesperson said.


However it is understood that the areas considered essential will include healthcare and public health, social care, public and civil service personnel, utilities such as Irish Water and ESB, the production and delivery of necessary goods such as food and medicine, financial services, transport and communications including the media, postal workers and telecommunications.

Garda patrols

An Garda Síochána on Friday night began a major nationwide policing operation focused on supporting public compliance with public health measures over the weekend.

There will be high-visibility patrolling by gardaí across the country during the weekend, focused on encouraging people to adhere to public health measures as announced by An Taoiseach.

The policing operation runs from 7pm tonight until 7am on Monday 30 March and will involve thousands of gardaí on foot, bike and mobile patrols.

Gardaí will intervene where venues or outlets are not in compliance or where groups of people are not adhering to recommended measures.

Read more

Coronavirus: farming and food production exempt from lockdown

Watch: Farm Tech Talk - breeding, milk recording, suckling and lambing

Farm Finance: farmers can access €350/week unemployment payment