Current levels of movement are too high and will lead to Covid-19 restrictions remaining in place for months to come, a member of the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) has warned.
Dr Mary Favier, Covid-19 adviser to the Irish College of General Practitioners, said restrictions will have to be kept in place as late as May if people do not curtail their movements.
Traffic on the roads was heavier than it had been during the first lockdown last March with more people going to work, she told Newstalk Breakfast.
“We are not doing enough, there is still too much movement,” Dr Favier said.
Her comments come as hundreds of people were fined after being found more than five kilometres from home over the weekend.
Many more were given cautions and sent home after being stopped at Garda checkpoints, as the force ramped up enforcement of the Public Health Act.
Dr Favier said that while the vast majority of the public were following Covid-19 regulations, she was very concerned that too many were still out and about.
Covid-19 numbers would decrease very slowly unless people stopped moving about, she said. “We have to reduce contacts.”
GPs were concerned that as people returned to work recently the spread of the virus was not slowing down.
“GPs are continuing to see lots of Covid cases. We had thought it had eased, but towards the end of last week we started seeing asymptomatic patients that need testing,” Dr Favier said.
Hospitals were under significant pressure at present, she added. If numbers were not reduced then restrictions would have to remain in place.
“We’re still going to be in this situation until March, April or May,” she warned.
Dr Favier appealed for people to not to go to work and for employers to facilitate working from home.