Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

10.09 24 Nov 2020


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It's likely the country will reopen from level five COVID-19 restrictions in stages and 'not all in one go', Green Party leader Eamon Ryan has said.

Minister Ryan and his Cabinet colleagues are meeting this morning to discuss how the Government will exit lockdown next week.

The Government's preference is to move directly to level three with some changes, while it's expected NPHET - who will meet tomorrow - will recommend a cautious approach.

Cabinet will discuss the options this morning, although a final decision isn't expected until another Cabinet meeting on Thursday or Friday.

Speaking on his way into this morning's meeting, Minister Eamon Ryan said everything needs to be done carefully.

He said: "Today's only the start of a week of deliberation - we'll make a call closer to [the end of the week].

"I'd imagine it will be a kind of staged opening - it all won't be in one go."

Meanwhile, Public Expenditure Minister Michael McGrath says they have to strike the right balance in the run up to Christmas.

He said: "We have to balance a range of considerations.

"We will of course have to listen very carefully to the advice of NPHET. There are also very valid economic considerations - December is a crucial month for large parts of our economy.

"We also have to take into account that Christmas is a really important time for so many people across the country."

However, he said the Government 'won't be able to please everyone' with whatever decision they make.

A full announcement on restrictions for December is expected on either Thursday or Friday.

Main image: File photo of Eamon Ryan. Photograph: Sasko Lazarov / RollingNews.ie

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