Covid situation 'much better than feared', Fianna Fáil meeting hears

Mr Martin hinted at another reopening plan being published by the end of the week, this one being a plan for how the country will deal with Covid for all of 2022.
Covid situation 'much better than feared', Fianna Fáil meeting hears

Taoiseach Micheál Martin said the country is "in a good position now to make positive announcements in the next 48 hours. Picture: PA.

Ireland's Covid situation is "much better than feared", and we are "well past the peak of the Omicron wave" the Taoiseach has told a meeting of the Fianna Fáil parliamentary party.

Speaking to TDs, senators, and MEPs this evening, Micheál Martin confirmed that the Cabinet subcommittee on Covid would meet on Friday to discuss whatever advice comes from Nphet on Thursday.

He said that the Government's "precautionary principle" applied before Christmas had worked, and that the booster programme was delivered in "an impactful and efficient way" while being "one of the best in Europe".

Mr Martin, who was described as "very upbeat" about the Covid situation, said that case numbers are reducing significantly, and that the Government will "make things very clear on Friday" for now and also for the medium term, hinting at another reopening plan being published by the end of the week, this one being a plan for how the country will deal with Covid for all of 2022.

"The situation is much better than anticipated and we can now act on that," he said.

We are well beyond the peak of Omicron, and we are in a new phase now in dealing with the pandemic."

The Taoiseach said that the country is "in a good position now to make positive announcements in the next 48 hours" on the lifting of restrictions. He told members that he was aware of their desires to see the 8pm closing for hospitality scrapped, and that would be considered.

The meeting heard that Fianna Fáil expressed its condolences to the family of Ashling Murphy, with the Taoiseach saying that a new delivery system on tackling gender-based violence will be answerable to him.

"There is an obligation on all of us to act and eliminate all aspects of gender violence and violence against women," he said.

Mr Martin said that the Irish economy is "powering ahead", and the Government is "looking forward to getting people back to work and creating more jobs during 2022".

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