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Government will make decision around restrictions on Tuesday - Donohoe

Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe says the Government will make a decision around a further easing...
Jack Quann
Jack Quann

10.36 14 Oct 2021


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Government will make decision...

Government will make decision around restrictions on Tuesday - Donohoe

Jack Quann
Jack Quann

10.36 14 Oct 2021


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Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe says the Government will make a decision around a further easing of restrictions next Tuesday.

He was speaking as Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said a recent increase in COVID-19 cases was a 'warning shot'. 

He also suggested some restrictions could remain after October 22nd.

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The 14-day incidence rate has risen by 12% in the last seven days, and hospital numbers are at their highest since March.

NPHET is to meet on Monday to decide whether to give the go-ahead for measures to ease on Friday week.

Minister Donohoe told The Pat Kenny Show there are signs of concern.

"It's always been the case that as we get ready to make another decision about the opening of our economy, we have to see where we are with the disease.

"And while we have made gigantic progress in Ireland this year in reducing the spread of disease, it has now stabilised at a higher level than we would have hoped for - and there are some signs of concern.

"What I want to avoid is being in a situation that the progress that we've made, with re-opening the economy, that we have to reverse our current level of progress.

"So NPHET are going to be meeting early next week, they'll advise the Government, and we'll make a decision on the matter on Tuesday."

Minister Donohoe says while overall compliance with public health measures is good, "there can be little doubt - because we're all human - that the longer it goes on, our focus goes elsewhere."

And he suggests vaccine boosters may be expanded later in the year.

"There may well be a case for going further than that - we have here in Ireland shown two things.

"The first one is that we can vaccinate at scale, and we can do that quickly.

"And the second thing... [is] the willingness of our country to get vaccinated and get vaccinated quickly.

"That may mean that as we move into a little later in the year, we may have to do more in vaccination than would otherwise have been the case".

And he says a return to offices for employees "is a little less likely at the moment. Though we will have to make a final decision on that early next week.

"We do know that when we go through big changes in mobility and activity within our society, it affects where we are with the disease.

"The most recent triggers of that are the return to school, the return to college - and we're going to really look at that carefully next week".

Main image: Composite image show Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe speaking at Newstalk studios in Dublin, and a social distancing sign outside a DIY shop in Glasgow, Scotland in April 2020. Picture by: Newstalk/jeremy sutton-hibbert/Alamy Stock Photo

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