Eamon Ryan has said he doesn’t believe COVID-19 restrictions will be introduced ahead of Christmas.
The Cabinet COVID sub-committee met last night, amid the continued concerns around the rising case numbers and hospitalisations.
It’s feared the peak of the wave could see between 4,000 and 5,000 cases a day and up to 200 COVID-19 patients in ICU.
Asked if there is any chance restrictions will be reintroduced this Christmas, Minister Ryan this morning said: “I don’t think they will be.
“We discussed that last night - neither Tony Holohan nor anyone else in the room felt that would be the appropriate response.
“As well as personal responsibility, I think sectors have responsibility: every organisation that’s organising an event [should] do it in a way that keeps people distant.
“It’s just about being cognisant that the virus is out there, at scale, and for all our interests it’s best to put simple measures in place. But I don’t think it will be returning to restrictions.”
Health Minister Stephen Donnelly, meanwhile, says the number of COVID cases over the past week is the fourth-highest since the pandemic started.
He said the only three weeks that were higher were the three highest weeks in January.
He said there is a serious impact on the health system as a result, but vaccines mean the country's in a better position than it was in January.
Eamon Ryan doesn't believe restrictions will be reintroduced for Christmas pic.twitter.com/2iUHPuph7M
— NewstalkFM (@NewstalkFM) October 27, 2021
Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan yesterday warned that he’s “increasingly worried” about the rising incidence of COVID-19 across the country.
He also said the number of COVID-19 hospitalisations and intensive care admissions is putting frontline healthcare services “under significant pressure”.
The five-day moving average of new COVID-19 cases is currently 2,131.
The latest HSE figures show there are more than 500 confirmed cases of the virus in Irish hospitals.
Both the Taoiseach and Tánaiste have said they can’t rule out further restrictions if the virus rates spiral out of control.