Jack Quann
Jack Quann

19.49 4 Jun 2020


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The Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan says he is concerned over house parties being organised "with abandon", as Ireland is set to move into the next phase of re-opening.

Ireland is on course to enter phase two on Monday, which would see people being able to travel up to 20 kilometres from their home.

While up to four people will be able visit another household for a short period, as long as they are at least two metres apart from people they do not live with.

And a slightly larger number of people can also attend funerals, but numbers will still be restricted to immediate family and close friends.

However Dr Holohan said one area is concerning him as the country moves into the next phase.

"In general terms, the population has stayed with us and stayed with the public health advice.

"We have seen some episodes and some examples, and there are definitely some things that would give us cause for concern in general terms of behaviour.

"We know - we don't have good data on this obviously - but anecdotally I think we all know probably from our personal lives and so on [about] house parties.

"House parties being organised with abandon, it seems to me, as through we weren't in the midst of a pandemic.

"So that's a continuing cause for concern, irrespective almost of the phase that we're in.

"There will become a point in time where we think certain activities that are in-door in nature can happen in controlled ways and so on.

"But we're really not at a point now we think that house parties and gathering in-doors is appropriate.

"And as we move through the phases our advice will change, and hopefully as we ease the restrictions we will ease - if you like - the requirements in terms of indoor gatherings.

"But we're really not at a stage where those kinds of activities can happen.

"I know a lot of focus has been on some of the external and public gatherings on beaches and platforms and so on at DART stations and such places, and those give us cause for concern.

"But it's the unseen activity in ordinary houses, very easy to understand, but we're really not at a point where we think that kind of activity is something we can recommend."

Dr Holohan said there are those who organise such gatherings, and those who voluntarily attend them.

"We'll be increasing our advice around the importance of recognising the conditions that can lead to spread.

"In other words when you're out and about, when you're invited to things or whether you attend things to recognise what crowded spaces look like.

"It seems like a simple thing to say.

"If you see a crowd, stay away; if you're invited to something which is crowded, stay away; if you're invited to something that you know is not in keeping with the public health advice, stay away".

Main image: Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan. Photo: Sasko Lazarov/RollingnNews.ie

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Coronavirus Covid-19 Dr Tony Holohan Gatherings House Parties Organised With Abandon Phase Two Restrictions

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