Dublin - Grafton Street

Footfall On Dublin Streets Steadily Rising Despite Government Wishes

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There’s been a 16% rise in people shopping and a 7% increase in people going to work despite Level 5 restrictions.

Dublin has been a 29% rise in footfall in which is around 900,000 people.

Liz Canavan, assistant secretary at the Department of the Taoiseach, said that is an increase of nearly 900,000 people. She said that travel volumes increased in every county.

Of course it’s understandable that numbers would increase with our children returning to schools, but it’s very important that we can continue to stay at home unless it is for an essential purpose,” Ms Canavan added.

Ms Canavan said the country is seeing a gradual and careful progress towards re-opening society.

The vaccination programme is already providing protection to nearly 400,000 of the most vulnerable,” she added. “The impact is evident already in reductions of infection in long-term residential care and healthcare settings, allowing public health experts the scope to consider what options might be possible in those areas is most important to us all.”

However, she warned that the country is still in a precarious position.

We do not yet have sufficient vaccine rolled out to allow us to drop our guard. Overall numbers are falling, but cases and deaths remain high.

Ms Canavan said 13 counties still have a positivity rate which is over 10%.

The number of people in hospital this morning (370 patients), while vastly improved, is still in excess of the numbers at the peak of the second wave,” she added.

We must also keep in mind that the variant of the virus which is now the most prevalent in the country, is significantly more transmissible than the previous strain. We have to imagine it is a brand new disease.”

Ms Canavan said the current steady progress is testament to the public’s efforts, but added: “However, we must make sure that we don’t experience a fourth surge of the virus before the benefits of the vaccine can be experienced.

We don’t ever want to return to the scenes we had here in January, the pressure on our health service, and the very sad outcomes for many families.”