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'Firms won't survive long lockdown', Leo warned as divisions open up in his cabinet

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Health Minister Simon Harris

Health Minister Simon Harris

Health Minister Simon Harris

There is a growing public divide over how to address the health and economic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic as the Government prepares to announce an extension of the nationwide lockdown.

The debate came into sharp focus at a Cabinet meeting yesterday where Taoiseach Leo Varadkar was warned by ministers about the devastating effect the virus is having on business and urged to lift social-distancing restrictions.

The warnings from some of his closest ministers, including Paschal Donohoe, Richard Bruton and Michael Ring, come as Mr Varadkar prepares to announce an extension of the nationwide lockdown on Friday.