Govt to face calls in Dáil to ease social distancing measures

Govt to face calls in Dáil to ease social distancing measures

The government is likely to face calls to ease social distancing measures when the Dáil meets this afternoon.

An announcement on the future of the lockdown is expected tomorrow.

Yesterday Leo Varadkar held his now weekly meeting with leaders of the opposition where calls were made for some of the coronavirus restrictions to be lifted.

The Taoiseach has said at the moment the medical advice is that the lockdown cannot be lifted, but the government is considering easing measures in some areas.

The Dáil meets this afternoon when those calls are likely to be given more voice.

It is the last chance for TDs to make their representations ahead of two crucial meetings tomorrow that will decide the future of the lockdown.

The National Public Heath Emergency team will make recommendations that will then have to be approved by cabinet ministers who are themselves divided on what the approach should be.

An announcement from the Taoiseach will then come sometime tomorrow evening.

The government needs to be confident it has "its eyes on the virus" before easing restrictions according to the World Health Organisation, which says Ireland must have adequate contact tracing and testing is in place before measures can be relaxed.

Contact tracing is taking approximately six days to complete, while the capacity for testing is at 10,000 per day.

The Chief Medical Officer has indicated he will not be recommending the lifting of restrictions, which are due to expire on Tuesday.

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