July 5 reopening will go ahead as planned - but no acceleration of measures, says Martin

July 5 reopening will go ahead as planned - but no acceleration of measures, says Martin

Pictured is Taoiseach Micheál Martin speaking to media. Photograph: Sasko Lazarov / RollingNews.ie

This week will see 350,000 vaccine doses administered with 58,000 distributed on Thursday alone, the largest amount in a single day yet, Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said.

Speaking at Government Buildings, Mr Martin said that the country is making “very good progress” in terms of the vaccination process, stating that take-up from the public in Ireland is the highest in Europe.

“Two-thirds of people will have received, by the end of the weekend, their first dose, and over one-third will be fully covered to be fully vaccinated,” he said.

“This current week is the biggest week yet in terms of the administration of vaccines but 350,000 being administered. Yesterday was the biggest day yet 58,000 vaccines administered."

He said to get to this sort of level of the rollout is “a phenomenal achievement” and he paid tribute to the healthcare staff involved in the process.

Responding to the Irish Examiner, he said the planned further re-opening on July 5 will proceed as planned, which will see the return of indoor dining, allowing three different households to gather and 50 people allowed to attend weddings.

Mr Martin ruled out any expedition of other measures out of what he called “due caution” as a result of the delta variant stain of Covid-19.

“We're going to we're going to keep it steady as outlined, we won't be advancing anything or accelerating anything,” he said.

“The last two weeks have been very good. And what the epidemiology is saying that really since May, we've been on a downward spiral in terms of the prevalence of the virus. So, so far so good.

“But obviously we were watching what's happened in the UK. At the British Council meeting last week, I think we were just we observed, the sense of concern from the Scottish First Minister, and the Welsh First Minister.

“They all indicated that they were pointing they were concerned about the Delta variant in their jurisdictions. So I think that gives us, you know, cause for caution. But we are pursuing the easing of restrictions as in line with the plans that we've outlined,” he said.

As the portal for those in their 30s opens up for registration, Mr Martin appealed to as many as possible to take the vaccine.

“I think the most important thing that people can do now, as we go down to younger age cohorts, is to take the vaccine does not just protect yourself but it protects your family conflicts your neighbours,” he said.

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