NPHET to decide position on masks and consider advice on easing restrictions

NPHET to decide position on masks and consider advice on easing restrictions

The National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) meets this morning, a day earlier than expected, to consider what advice it will give on easing some Covid-19 restrictions from Monday.

They will also decide their position on people wearing masks in shops and on public transport before Ministers sign off on the measures tomorrow.

10 more people with Covid-19 have died, bringing the death toll to 1,497 while there are 23,400 confirmed cases.

Later this morning, the HSE will set out its plan to improve contact tracing.

Chief Medical Officer, Dr Tony Holohan says this morning's NPHET meeting is being held early to give Ministers time to consider their advice.

"Because we have some things to consider we have advice to give government as a result of our consideration and I think it will take government time to consider and digest that," said Dr Holohan.

"If we met on Friday morning I think that the length of time for those to be finalised and for government to give them adequate consideration wouldn't be sufficient.

"So we have made an adjustment in our time for that reason."

Dr Holohan said whatever advice he gives today, the decision ultimately lies with Cabinet.

"We're making advice available to Cabinet based on our public health assessment particularly as we move into easing restrictions.

"There will be other considerations the government has to have - economic considerations and social considerations - so the government will have to come to balanced decisions according to its own discussion which I won't be privy to.

"We make the advice available and government will make the necessary decisions based on that."

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