Ireland's deputy chief medical officer has called on young people to avoid indoor meetings this bank holiday weekend.
Speaking on Spin radio, Dr Ronan Glynn said that if people wanted to meet up, to do so out of doors, in small groups of no more than six people.
There were three key points to remember this weekend, he said: “avoid crowds; manage your contacts; keep your distance... if you can't wear a mask.”
“Avoid meeting up indoors, that is high risk,” he added.
There were still hundreds of cases every week and the vast majority were now in the under-45 age group, Dr Glynn said. While they were less likely to end up being hospitalised, “you can’t be sure of any one outcome.”
College and festivals
There was “a reasonable expectation” that the vaccination programme would stay on track and that the number of cases would continue to decrease, he said, and as a result students could start college on campus in September and the vast majority could look forward to having a good college experience.
However, Dr Glynn said the number of cases in Limerick was a cause for concern as there had been 800 cases in two weeks.
The situation was not good, he said, but it could be overcome and previously when such difficulties had arisen the response of the medical profession, local businesses and politicians and the community had been excellent and he was optimistic that would be the case again.
When asked could events like Electric Picnic go ahead, Dr Glynn said that depended on vaccination progress. The more people that were vaccinated, “the more liberal we can be in September and October.
“Ultimately vaccination progress will dictate everything.”