We will go 'as fast as possible' in lifting Covid restrictions, says Micheál Martin

We will go 'as fast as possible' in lifting Covid restrictions, says Micheál Martin

Micheál Martin has said the Government will review progress in the coming days and set out steps that can be implemented in May.

We have begun our journey to the end of the pandemic and a further lifting of restrictions will come into force from the start of next month, the Taoiseach has said.

Micheál Martin has said the Government will review progress in the coming days and set out steps that can be implemented in May.

In a recorded speech to commemorate the 1916 Rising, Mr Martin said there is "no off-the-shelf handbook" for dealing with what he described as a rapidly evolving and uniquely devastating virus.

He took aim at Opposition parties by stating that there is "no positive purpose served in looking for instant judgements every day".

Turning to an easing of restrictions in the next fortnight and beyond, Mr Martin said: "We have begun the gradual steps of lifting some restrictions. And if we can maintain control of the virus we will go as fast as possible in lifting more.

"We will review progress in the days ahead and set out the steps which we can implement in May. We will look to get all construction activity reopened. We understand the major impact felt by small business and want to see a return of more commercial activity and personal services.

"We have begun our journey to the end of this pandemic. We will get there," the Taoiseach said.

It has already been indicated that the Government will move to restart click and collect shopping services as well as all construction from the beginning of May.

The full reopening of shops and services such as hairdressers and barbers is expected towards the middle of May.

However, Mr Martin cautioned that people must continue to limit their social interactions

"Restrictions have been tough, but they are working. The commitment of the Irish people to respecting the restrictions has dramatically reduced the spread of a virus which is today dramatically more contagious than it was 12 months ago," he said.

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