Simon Coveney says Government will take 'cautious' approach to lifting restrictions

ireland
Simon Coveney Says Government Will Take 'Cautious' Approach To Lifting Restrictions
The Government is expected to make an announcement on its plans for the restrictions following a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday. © PA Archive/PA Images
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Digital Desk Staff

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney has said the “room is very narrow” for lifting Covid-19 restrictions next month.

As The Irish Times reports, he said the Government would take a “cautious” approach to easing lockdown measures from April 5th.

The Government is expected to make an announcement on its plans for the restrictions following a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday.

“We’ll be looking at the 5km restrictions, at outdoor activity and completing the full return to school after Easter.”

Mr Coveney also said “we would like to see some level of opening of the construction industry” because of the pressure on housing, but he said that “the first priority has to be public health and avoiding another wave of the virus”.

“The approach by Government will be cautious. We don’t want to allow restrictions to be eased and then have to re-introduce them.”

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Speaking on RTÉ radio’s This Week programme he said “we are trying to ensure we don’t allow a fourth wave of virus between now and when the vast majority of people who want to be vaccinated will be”, which he said was expected in mid-July.

The Minister said the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) would report to Government on Monday and the Cabinet subcommittee will meet at 6pm on Monday, and it will make recommendations to the full Cabinet on Tuesday morning.

Vaccine rollout

Meanwhile, more than 760,000 Covid-19 vaccines have been administered in the Republic so far.

Figures from the Health Service Executive show that as of Thursday, 548,945 first doses and 211,223 second doses had been issued.

The number of coronavirus patients in hospitals increased over the last 24 hours.

As of 8am, 322 people were being treated in hospital for the virus, 18 more than the same time on Saturday.

Nphet reported two further coronavirus-related deaths and 624 more Covid-19 cases on Saturday evening.

This brings the total number of Covid-19 related deaths in the Republic to 4,653. Of the 624 confirmed cases reported on Saturday, 309 are men and 313 are women.

Three-quarters of those who tested positive were younger than 45 years of age, with the median age being 32.

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