The Dáil has passed the Emergency Measures in the Public Interest Bill without a vote.

It will go to the Seanad tomorrow.

The legislation aims to reduce the spread of the virus and to diminish its negative economic impact.

The passage of the bill was paused briefly when more than 50 TDs applauded health workers in a striking show of solidarity.

These new laws, regulations and income supports were described by the Taoiseach as unprecedented but necessary for unprecedented times.

Concern was expressed throughout the debate that some landlords may not honour the spirit of the legislation that freezes rents and outlaws evictions.

An amendment that guaranteed Travellers would not be evicted from any location during the Covid-19 crisis was passed by the Dáil.

The lack of physical distancing in some workplaces was consistently raised amid warnings from some TDs that this was endangering the lives of hundreds of workers.

There was a warning from Minister for Business Heather Humphreys too, who told the Dáil that the pandemic unemployment payment was a solidarity payment and anyone attempting to defraud would face the full rigours of the law.  

Meanwhile, Minister for Health Simon Harris told the Dáil he is revising abortion guidelines so that women seeking early abortion can consult with doctors remotely - this will only apply during Covid-19 emergency.

Earlier, Leo Varadkar said because of the work that has been done on a no-deal Brexit, Ireland is in a better position to deal with Covid-19.

He said the emergency would get worse before it gets better and he said people were afraid and were looking for reassurance from politicians.

He said these were extraordinary times and this was why the Government was taking this action like rent freezes now.

He said in normal circumstances a rent freeze would make things worse and he said this was a temporary policy and only for a few weeks.

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The Fianna Fáil Leader Micheál Martin had said his party would be supporting the legislation.

He said the response has been proportionate, has been properly led and has had a significant impact.

He said we must help the economy to recover once the immediate challenges are met.

Mr Martin also said action in Ireland was broadly in line with the international practice.

Sinn Féin's finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty said the cost of failing to act would be devastating.

He said the response to this should be European led, and said banks, despite saying there would be a three month moratorium, would now be profiting on the back of this.

Today's sitting took place with a considerably reduced number of TDs present in an effort to ensure physical distancing in the Dáil chamber.