Simon Harris: Social distancing could be part of Irish life until vaccine available

Simon Harris: Social distancing could be part of Irish life until vaccine available
Simon Harris said there is "no magic point" at the start of May where life before Covid-19 can resume. File picture.

Social Distancing could be part of Irish life until a vaccine for coronavirus is available, according to the Health Minister.

Simon Harris said there is "no magic point" at the start of May where life before Covid-19 can resume.

A vaccine for the virus is not expected to be available for 12 to 18 months.

Minister Simon Harris said any restrictions that can be changed will depend on how we suppress the virus for the next three weeks.

"I think being truthful, social distancing is going to remain a very big part of life not just in Ireland but the world over," said Mr Harris.

He said this is likely to continue until a vaccine is produced or "an effective treatment for the coronavirus" is developed.

Meanwhile, a top HSE official said social distancing has made a difference against the spread of Covid-19 in Ireland.

HSE Chief Clinical Officer, Dr Colm Henry said it is difficult to pinpoint exactly how, but it is helping.

Dr Henry said it is not possible for the health service to be "absolutely prescriptive" about which elements of social distancing have made the difference in stopping the spread of coronavirus in Ireland.

However, he said: "the whole lot together and people working together and complying has made a difference."

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