Ireland to close all schools over virus

Irish PM Leo Varadkar says people should work from home if they can amid coronavirus concerns

Ireland will close all schools and cultural centres from Friday until March 29 in a bid to curb the spread of coronavirus, Prime Minister Leo Varadkar says.

"Our advice is that all indoor gatherings of more than 100 people and all outdoor gatherings of more than 500 people should be cancelled," Varadkar said.

"You should continue to go to work if you can, but where possible you should work from home," he said.

Ireland has confirmed 43 infections with the COVID-19 coronavirus, reporting its first death on Wednesday.

Varadkar warned on Monday that up to 60 per cent of Ireland's 4.8 million people could contract the virus in the coming weeks.

He said most people were likely to be infected at home rather than in public places.