NPHET to consider how any Covid-19 restrictions might be eased

NPHET to consider how any Covid-19 restrictions might be eased

The National Public Health Emergency Team it to meet this morning to consider how any Covid-19 restrictions might be eased from next month.

Yesterday, the highest daily toll of deaths notified during the coronavirus outbreak was reported, with 77 fatalities confirmed.

401 new cases have been diagnosed, meaning there have been 15,652 confirmed coronavirus cases since it began spreading here.

Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan says this morning's NPHET meeting will look at how relaxing any measures would work.

He said: “We’re giving specific consideration to a range of measures that might be contemplated in a situation whereby the disease characteristics are such that we might be able to think about changing some of the restrictions.

“That work we’re doing. We’re having a further look at all of that.

“And then we look at the question of travel, as always part of our agenda on a consistent basis.”

    The current restrictions started on Friday, March 27. They mandate that everyone should stay at home, only leaving to:
  • Shop for essential food and household goods;
  • Attend medical appointments, collect medicine or other health products;
  • Care for children, older people or other vulnerable people - this excludes social family visits;
  • Exercise outdoors - within 2kms of your home and only with members of your own household, keeping 2 metres distance between you and other people
  • Travel to work if you provide an essential service - be sure to practice physical distancing

Yesterday, the Taoiseach expressed concern that complacency around the Covid-19 restrictions was setting in.

Leo Varadkar also said he would not speculate about when Ireland would reopen.

“Certainly anecdotally and speaking to people, there does seem to have been an increase in traffic and an increase in people out and about,” he said.

“It is OK for people to be out and about so long as they observe social distancing. It is OK for people to travel provided those journeys are necessary.”

He said there was concern that there had been “a little bit of complacency setting in”.

“That worries us because we are making real progress in terms of predicting the rate the virus is spreading and we don’t want to lose that,” he said.

Mr Varadkar said the Government will set out a road map about how Ireland will come out of lockdown but said he did not want to speculate about what restrictions would be lifted first.

He said: “What we’re working on is a plan that we will have before the end of April.

“It would indicate how we reopen the country in different steps and the criteria for moving from one step to the next. Until then, I would rather not speculate or fuel expectations.”

- additional reporting from Press Association

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