An Taoiseach Micheal Martin T.D.

NPHET Defer Meeting on Easing Restrictions As Martin Warns of ‘Fragile’ Situation

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A planned meeting tomorrow on easing restrictions in April has been put off until Monday.

NPHET wants more time to see whether there’s a consistent trend of rising cases and assess all the data available

Public Health Officials will then advise government ahead of a cabinet decision on Tuesday.

A meeting of the cabinet subcommittee on Covid-19, will also take place at some stage before cabinet, before decisions are taken at cabinet on Tuesday.

A phased reopening of construction and a relaxation of the five km exercise limit are under consideration, along with the possibility of some outdoor activities.

However, there is concern over the lack of progress on case numbers, and the potential for a rise in case counts between now and next week.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin told the Dáil: “The situation in relation to the virus is very fragile.

“We have, in the last seven days, 3,800 cases.

The sacrifices that people have made has had an impact on getting case numbers dramatically down from January figures.

The Level 5 restrictions have worked effectively to bring numbers down very, very significantly from where they were.

But the numbers are still high in one way too, and the fundamental reason for that is we’re dealing with a variant that is highly transmissible and more dangerous.

No decision has been made in relation to the post-April 5th situation.

We’ve been engaging with public health advice and research in relation to this.

We do acknowledge the enormous stress and strain and difficulties the current lockdown is imposing on people, in terms of personal restrictions, on their freedom and their liberties and not meeting up with others.

We do not want to go back to a situation where we have 2,000 people in hospital.”