Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

19.01 10 Jul 2020


Share this article


The Health Minister has encouraged people to enjoy their weekend - but urged everyone to continue following social distancing rules.

It's the second weekend of restaurants and pubs which serve food being allowed to open.

However, scenes of large crowds gathered on some streets in Dublin city centre last weekend have raised concerns about social distancing.

Health officials have urged people to be very cautious - noting that young people now account for the vast majority of new COVID-19 cases.

Speaking on The Hard Shoulder, Health Minister Stephen Donnelly said people do need to "let loose" after months of restrictions.

'Enjoy yourself this weekend, but please comply with social distancing' - Health Minister

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

    

He said: "This weekend, the message is very clear - enjoy yourself. Everyone has had to confine themselves for months and months and months, and then when finally we all got back out again it rained on us every day for about three weeks. Finally we've got a bit of sunshine.

"The message is: enjoy yourself, and when you're doing it please comply with social distancing. When you're on public transport, please wear a face mask.

"If you're out and you're having dinner or doing whatever you're doing, that's all good. Just keep two metres between yourselves and other people. It can be awkward... but people need to get out."

He said authorities are beginning to see clusters emerging again, while a "very heavy majority" of the new confirmed cases involving younger people.

He also noted concerns about cases linked to foreign travel.

Minister Donnelly said people won't be "shamed and chastised" for enjoying their weekend - but again urged people to keep social distance from each other.

'Behave responsibly'

Earlier, Taoiseach Micheál Martin appealed to the public to act responsibly this weekend,

He said: "As we have reopened, I think the responsibility is on us all personally and as groups to just behave responsibly - particularly in terms of gatherings and social distancing.

"One can still enjoy oneself, by this is a very dangerous virus - it can damage people's health for quite a long time."

Gardaí will be continuing their operation this week to ensure the public health guidelines are being followed.

26 pubs around the country are facing prosecution after potential breaches of public health guidelines last weekend.

Deputy Commissioner John Twomey said he hopes "lessons have been learnt and we see an even high rate of compliance after this weekend".

Main image: Stephen Donnelly. Photo: Leah Farrell/Rollingnews.ie

Share this article


Read more about

Health Minister Social Distancing Stephen Donnelly

Most Popular

Live: Title

Now playing

00:00:00 / 00:00:00
Added to queue
Removed from queue

On Air

Share

Share


Up next

Episode title
Show
Duration

You currently have no podcasts in your queue.

Go to podcasts

On Air

Best Of Newstalk

Best Of Newstalk

00:00-06:00

Share

Up next

BREAKFAST BRIEFING

BREAKFAST BRIEFING

06:00-06:30

Share

BREAKFAST BUSINESS

BREAKFAST BUSINESS

06:30-07:00

Share

NEWSTALK BREAKFAST

NEWSTALK BREAKFAST

07:00-09:00

Share

THE PAT KENNY SHOW

THE PAT KENNY SHOW

09:00-12:00

Share

LUNCHTIME LIVE

LUNCHTIME LIVE

12:00-14:00

Share

MONCRIEFF

MONCRIEFF

14:00-16:00

Share

THE HARD SHOULDER

THE HARD SHOULDER

16:00-19:00

Share

OFF THE BALL

OFF THE BALL

19:00-22:00

Share

THE TOM DUNNE SHOW

THE TOM DUNNE SHOW

22:00-00:00

Share

BEST OF NEWSTALK

BEST OF NEWSTALK

00:00-06:00

Share

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

Share on