Covid-19 sub committee to meet to discuss extension of level 5 restrictions

Other issues, such as mandatory quarantining of those arriving from abroad, and the reopening of schools are also expected to be discussed at the meeting.
Covid-19 sub committee to meet to discuss extension of level 5 restrictions

It is understood that increased Garda checks at the country’s airports, as well as further Garda road checkpoints monitoring any non-essential travel will also be discussed at today's meeting. File Picture: Stephen Collins/Collins Photos

The Government’s Covid-19 sub-committee will meet today to discuss the maintaining of level 5 restrictions until the end of February.

Other issues, such as mandatory quarantining of those arriving from abroad, and the reopening of schools are also expected to be discussed at the meeting.

Last week, Taoiseach Micheál Martin suggested that current level 5 restrictions would likely continue into March, though a specific end date has not been confirmed.

It is understood increased Garda checks at the country’s airports, as well as further Garda road checkpoints monitoring any non-essential travel will also be discussed.

The committee is also considering introducing tighter checks on people travelling from Northern Ireland, though this has not yet been confirmed.

Several opposition parties, including Sinn Féin, the Social Democrats, Labour and have called on the Government to bring in stricter quarantine rules for people arriving in the country.

Sinn Féin president Mary Lou McDonald this morning said the Government's current isolation approach was "laissez-faire" and "hit and miss".

Ms McDonald the Government must instead introduce "very firm and very secure arrangements" to make sure all passengers fully comply with 14-day quarantine requirements.

As of Friday evening, talks were ongoing on a ‘two-island’ solution to mandatory quarantining between Ireland and the UK.

The issue of the possible reopening of schools is also expected to be high on the committee’s agenda.

Over the weekend, the Taoiseach hinted that students were unlikely to see the inside of their classrooms until after St Patrick’s Day.

The status of this year’s Leaving Certificate exams will also be discussed, with a decision on how the exams are to be organised due in the coming days.

Last night, Health officials confirmed 23 further virus-related deaths and 1,378 new cases in Ireland – the second day in a row the daily case figure fell below the 2,000 mark.

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