'No-one expects widespread re-opening' at the end of January - McGrath


Jack Quann
Jack Quann

09.07 20 Jan 2021


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The Public Expenditure Minister Michael McGrath has indicated that level five coronavirus restrictions will not be lifted at the end of this month.

It comes after 93 deaths from COVID-19 were recorded on Tuesday, the highest figure to date.

The Cabinet Sub-Committee COVID-19 will meet next Monday and get an update from NPHET, the HSE and public health experts.

A recommendation will then go to the full Cabinet next Tuesday.

But Minister McGrath told Newstalk Breakfast the figures are still too high for the restrictions to ease.

"I think it's fair to say that no-one expects there will be a widespread re-opening of the economy.

"We need to drive these numbers down much further".

But he said the Government will "try and give people as much notice as we possibly can to plan their lives".

He said Tuesday's figures were "shocking" and that there is no room for complacency.

"We are seeing some progress in the overall numbers now, the daily case numbers, and the number of people who are hospitalised.

"But there is absolutely no room for complacency - we have to drive down these numbers".

He added that the continuing high numbers for January have been surprising.

"I think the numbers have remained higher for longer than the majority of people expected, even the public health experts."

"I think we all now just need to double down".

'No-one expects widespread re-opening' at the end of January - McGrath

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Main image: Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Michael McGrath talking to the media. Picture by: Sam Boal / RollingNews.ie

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Coronavirus Restrictions Hse January Michael McGrath NPHET Newstalk Breakfast Public Expenditure Minister Widespread Re-opening

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