Simon Harris says other counties moving to Level 4 is 'likely but not inevitable'

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Digital Desk staff

Additional reporting from Vivienne Clarke

Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris has said that it is“likely but not inevitable” that the country will have to go to Level 4 of the Living with Covid Plan.

Mr Harris said he hoped the “enhanced Level 3” measures would have an impact on the rising levels of transmissions.

Speaking on Newstalk Breakfast the Minister said he was very worried about the rising number of Covid cases, but he was not “buying into” the idea that it was inevitable the country would have to go to Level 4. “We can get over this.”

If three specific measures were followed by everybody then Level 3 could work, he said. The measures were for people to work from home; to curtail home visits and to wear face coverings.

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Mr Harris said that if it was necessary the Government would take further measures, but he hoped that following the enhanced Level 3 measures would work.

He also said that banning household visits could be a ‘gamechanger’ in curbing the spread of Covid 19.

A nationwide ban on visiting people's homes is coming into place from midnight with exceptions for things like childcare.

Level four restrictions will also come into effect for Donegal, Cavan and Monaghan, meaning all non-essential retail will shut.

Yesterday saw the highest number of Covid cases recorded in a single day at 1,095.

Higher Education Minister Simon Harris believes banning household visits is difficult but essential.

"We are about a week into to really pushing Level 3 nationwide, so we need to try and give it a little bit more time.

"That is why the Taoiseach last night and the Tánaiste were rightly saying lets take these enhanced Level 3 measure seriously."

He noted that while these extra restrictions are 'annoying and painful' they could be a 'gamechanger' overall if the Government has gotten things right.

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