Taoiseach hopes to be able to lift some restrictions by May 5

Taoiseach hopes to be able to lift some restrictions by May 5

The Taoiseach has said he hopes to be able to announce the lifting of some of the Covid-19 restrictions by May 5.

Leo Varadkar said a plan is being prepared that will set out step-by-step how the economy and society will reopen.

He said the aim is to focus on areas with the most benefit to society but the least risk.

“What we want to do is open up areas of the economy and society that will have the most benefit to our economy and society but the least risk, in public health terms,” he said, speaking on RTÉ's Prime Time.

Mr Varadkar said they are watching “very closely” other countries who have begun easing restrictions - such as Denmark and Germany.

“We’ll be able to see how they got on. We’ll have two or three weeks of data from them before we make that decision.”

However, Mr Varadkar added that a number of factors must be considered before any restrictions are lifted:

“We need to look at three things,” he said.

“Is the rate of the increase in the virus improving? It is at the moment, that could change though.

“Are the hospitals…will they have the capacity to deal with the surge if things go wrong? That looks good right now.

“And then do we have the testing and tracing in place - that’s not quite there yet.

“But they’re the three things that have to go in our way, if you like.”

Yesterday, it was announced that a further 44 people with the virus have died, bringing the death toll to 730.

It was also announced that more than 9,000 people who tested positive for Covid-19 in Ireland have now recovered, official figures indicate.

Statistics from the Department of Health show that 8,377 people have recovered in the community while 856 of those in hospital have also recovered.

The figures, which are the most up to date available, are based on an analysis of the confirmed cases when the overall total stood at 15,186.

The number of confirmed infections had risen to 16,040 today, with 388 new cases confirmed in the previous 24 hours.

Meanwhile, the Health Minister is meeting the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation about the coronavirus pandemic today.

Simon Harris says he hopes to discuss some 'practical approaches' that can be taken to help the sector.

    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

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