Donnelly expects remaining Covid restrictions to be lifted before Christmas

Donnelly Expects Remaining Covid Restrictions To Be Lifted Before Christmas
Stephen Donnelly. Photo: PA
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James Cox

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly has said he expects the remaining Covid-19 restrictions to be lifted before Christmas.

He said the Government would like to lift “all restrictions as quickly as possible”.

However, Mr Donnelly added that public health advice may mean some restrictions will have to be kept “for some time”.

The Health Minister said these rules could include mask wearing in higher-risk environments.

Cabinet will meet this week after receiving recommendations on the easing of restrictions from the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet).

Mr Donnelly added: “What we want to do is we want to provide real certainty. It’s been a brutal year and a half. Most of society and most of the economy is open, but we’re very aware there are still parts that aren’t, that have suffered hugely, and what we want to do is help them open as quickly as possible.”


When he was asked whether he believed the remaining restrictions would be eased by Christmas, Mr Donnelly replied: “Yes, I do.

“Obviously specific dates are something that we would be looking to Nphet for, and we’ll be discussing at Cabinet, but, yes, certainly the view would be that we would be open this calendar year.”

Mr Donnelly also warned that the Covid-19 infection rate remains high, and “it’s important we don’t let our guard down”.

Nphet will meet tomorrow and their recommendations will be discussed by the Cabinet Covid-19 sub-committee on Friday.

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