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Holohan: 'None of us' want COVID-19 restrictions this Christmas

Dr Holohan says he is "optimistic" enough will be done to avoid any restrictions
Jack Quann
Jack Quann

21.37 27 Oct 2021


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Holohan: 'None of us' want COV...

Holohan: 'None of us' want COVID-19 restrictions this Christmas

Jack Quann
Jack Quann

21.37 27 Oct 2021


Share this article


The Chief Medical Officer, Dr Tony Holohan, says nobody wants to see any COVID-19 restrictions in the run up to Christmas.

He was responding to earlier comments from Minister Eamon Ryan, who was asked if there is any chance restrictions will be re-introduced.

"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," Minister Ryan said.

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"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", Minister Ryan added.

However, NPHET says it is worried about the recent surge in COVID-19 cases and hospitalisations.

Some 1,631 new cases were reported on Wednesday, while 503 patients are in hospital with the virus.

Dr Holohan says he agrees with Minister Ryan, and is "optimistic" enough will be done to avoid any restrictions.

"We all share his view of things, that none of us wants to see us being in that situation.

"As I've said a number of occasions in the past, there are a number of people who've now been infected whose infection yet has to manifest itself over the course of the next 10 days or fortnight or whatever.

"But people beyond that point, their infection is not necessarily inevitable.

"We do have it within our gift, we've shown it in the past as a country, that our collective behaviour - particularly in response to surges of the infection that we're seeing at the moment - can turn around and change.

"And if we can get to that point... that we hope and are optimistic that we can achieve a change in transmission, such that we won't need to do anything further in terms of measures".

Dr Holohan says people must get back to basic measures, such as hand washing and mask wearing.

"We don't necessarily need perfection, but we need everybody to hear the message.

"And we need most of the people, most of the time, to be doing most of the things that we're recommending.

"And that might be enough to turn around the pattern of transmission that we're seeing, that's putting such significant numbers of people in hospital and leading to significant cancellations of elective activity".

And he says people should do a 'risk assessment' before engaging in certain activities.

"It would be a sensible thing for individuals who are involved in large gatherings indoors, and a nightclub would be a good example of that.

"But there's still a greater risk in terms of transmission in some of those kinds of environments, if there are people who are infected.

"And that you should be aware of those risks, and that that should inform - then - the other kinds of activities that you take over the next period of time, particularly interaction with other people who might be vulnerable".

Additional reporting: Paul O'Donoghue

Main image: Composite image shows Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan speaking at a Department of Health COVID-19 briefing, and a Christmas tree decorated on Dublin's O'Connell Street in December 2013. Picture by: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie/Nirav Raval/Alamy Stock Photo

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COVID-19 Restrictions Christmas Coronavirus Dr Holohan Holohan Hospitalisations Nightclubs Tony Holohan

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