Varadkar: Gyms and churches remaining open for ‘mental, physical and spiritual health’

Varadkar: Gyms And Churches Remaining Open For ‘Mental, Physical And Spiritual Health’
Handout photo issued by Julien Behal Photography of Tanaiste Leo Varadkar during a press briefing on the latest update to lockdown restrictions at the Government Buildings, Dublin. Ireland is returning to the highest level of its Covid-19 response – Level 5 – with some adjustments, such as allowing shops to remain open.
Share this article
James Cox

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has said gyms, churches, golf clubs and tennis clubs are remaining open for  people’s “mental, physical and spiritual health”.

Mr Varadkar made the comments after the Government announced the country would be entering Level 5 Covid-19 restrictions with some amendments.


Exercise classes at gyms will not be permitted but individual training will be allowed to continue.

Speaking on Newstalk, Mr Varadkar said: “We decided to leave those open because we think that particularly this time of year when it’s so dark and outdoor exercising is difficult, for people's mental, physical, and spiritual health we thought it would be a good idea to allow people to exercise and also attend church for private prayer.”

When pushed on the proximity of people and trainers at gyms, he added: “That is true, that's a risk and that's why ventilation is crucial but if it is the case that we start detecting clusters and outbreaks in gyms or golf clubs or tennis courts we will reconsider.”

The Irish Times reports that Mr Varadkar said the new restrictions would be reviewed on January 12th, the date until which they are currently set to remain in place.


Ireland will introduce fresh lockdown measures from Christmas Eve, amid fears a new variant of coronavirus identified in England is a factor in spiralling infection rates.

“It will probably be towards the end of February or early March before a critical mass of the population is vaccinated and I think we need to operate on the basis that these restrictions will be in place until then,” Mr Varadkar said.

He added that the country was experiencing “exponential growth” in numbers infected with the virus, which would see case numbers at 1,000 a day before Christmas and “perhaps 2,000 a day before New Year’s Eve” if left to follow their current trajectory.

“We don’t know if the new variant is circulating in Ireland, but we’re operating on the basis that it is,” Mr Varadkar said.


Read More

Message submitting... Thank you for waiting.

Want us to email you top stories each lunch time?

Download our Apps
© 2023, developed by Square1 and powered by