Nphet meet to discuss options for eased restrictions

ireland
Nphet Meet To Discuss Options For Eased Restrictions
Nphet will meet this afternoon before a sub-Cabinet meeting later today. Image: PA.
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The National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) will meet today to discuss recommendations for Government ahead of the planned easing of Level 5 restrictions from April 5th.

Officials have played down the possibility of any major changes to restrictions amid worries of the rate of transmission of Covid-19 over the past number of weeks.

Over the weekend, Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney said a "cautious" approach would be adopted, adding the Government does not want to lift restrictions only to re-introduce them again.

The Nphet meeting is due to take place this afternoon, followed by a meeting of senior Ministers to consider the options presented by the group.

Tomorrow a full Cabinet meeting will be held to approve any changes, following which Taoiseach Micheál Martin will make a public address.

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Mr Coveney said an easing of the 5km travel limit, outdoor activities and the continued return of students to school after the Easter Holidays are the options currently being considered.

The reopening of the construction industry is said to be the major doubt ahead of Tuesday's announcement. However, Minister for Housing Darragh O'Brien is expected to call for the reopening of the sector, citing the need for continued construction in order to ease the housing shortage.

On Sunday, 604 new cases of the virus were confirmed, and 13 additional deaths. The national 14-day incidence rate is now 164.5 cases per 100,000 having increased from 155.3 on March 21st.

Mr Martin has suggested the updated restrictions will last until mid-May, while others have called for a review to be conducted at the end of April to take into account the progress of the vaccine rollout.

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