Advertisement

Restrictions on meeting up outdoors could be eased on April 5th

Restrictions on meeting up outdoors could be eased next month, under plans being examined by the ...
Sean Defoe
Sean Defoe

06.31 24 Mar 2021


Share this article


Restrictions on meeting up out...

Restrictions on meeting up outdoors could be eased on April 5th

Sean Defoe
Sean Defoe

06.31 24 Mar 2021


Share this article


Restrictions on meeting up outdoors could be eased next month, under plans being examined by the Government.

The National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) will tomorrow advise the Government on what parts of Level Five can be lifted on April 5th.

Fluctuating case numbers in recent days have led to concerns over plans to reopen the construction sector and expand the 5km travel limit.

Advertisement

"Exhausted"

Speaking last night however, the Health Minister said Cabinet is aware of the impact lockdown is having on people right around the country and is considering easing restrictions on low-risk outdoor activities.

“We need that bit more time to vaccinate people, keep the virus going down and keep suppressing it,” he said.

“We are very aware that this has been a long lockdown. It has worked in terms of the disease but it has been really tough on people.

“People are exhausted; people are fed up; people just want to be able to meet up with people – we are very, very aware of that.”

He said ministers will consider ways to ease restrictions in the safest manner possible.

“What we have got to do is see if there are a small number of measures that would make people’s lives easier and that carry relatively low risk in terms of spread while doing everything we can to try and target and suppress the virus in those other areas,” he said.

Testing

Minister Donnelly said walk-in COVID testing centre will be set up this week in parts of the country experiencing high case numbers.

It is the first time people will be able get tested without an appointment.

“One of the things we are doing is we are targeting the virus where we know it is,” said the minister.

“For example, this week, we will be introducing walk-in PCR testing without a referral in some parts of the country where we have seen very high incidence.

“One of the other things we are doing is we are further increasing biosecurity measures at the border to protect against variants and obviously that is what hotel quarantine is all about.”

The Crowne Plaza hotel near Dublin Airport, 22-03-2021. Image: RollingNews

He was speaking after the first bookings for mandatory hotel quarantine were made on the Government’s new online portal.

From Friday, anyone arriving into Ireland from one of 33 countries will have to spend 12 nights quarantined in a hotel at a cost of €1,875 for one adult.

Last night, the Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn warned that the battle against COVID-19 is currently ‘finely balanced.’

He warned that progress has ‘stalled,’ with the number of patients in hospital and intensive care still higher than during the second wave.

Last night, 371 new cases were reported alongside 24 further virus-related deaths, 12 of which occurred this month.

Additional reporting Michael Staines


Share this article


Read more about

Coronavirus Covid-19 Level Five NPHET Outdoors Restrictions Stephen Donnelly Virus

Most Popular

Live: Title

Now playing

00:00:00 / 00:00:00
Added to queue
Removed from queue

On Air

Share

Share


Up next

Episode title
Show
Duration

You currently have no podcasts in your queue.

Go to podcasts

On Air

Off The Ball

Off The Ball

13:00-17:00

Share

Up next

TECH TALK WITH JESS KELLY

TECH TALK WITH JESS KELLY

17:00-18:00

Share

SCREENTIME WITH JOHN FARDY

SCREENTIME WITH JOHN FARDY

18:00-19:00

Share

SOUNDSCAPE

SOUNDSCAPE

19:00-20:00

Share

DIRT

DIRT

20:00-21:00

Share

DOCUMENTARY AND DRAMA ON NEWST...

DOCUMENTARY AND DRAMA ON NEWSTALK

21:00-22:00

Share

BEST OF THE PAT KENNY SHOW

BEST OF THE PAT KENNY SHOW

22:00-23:00

Share

THE HOME SHOW WITH SINEAD RYAN

THE HOME SHOW WITH SINEAD RYAN

23:00-00:00

Share

BEST OF NEWSTALK

BEST OF NEWSTALK

00:00-07:00

Share

DOCUMENTARY AND DRAMA ON NEWST...

DOCUMENTARY AND DRAMA ON NEWSTALK

07:00-08:00

Share

ALIVE AND KICKING WITH CLARE M...

ALIVE AND KICKING WITH CLARE MCKENNA

08:00-09:00

Share

Taking Stock with Mandy Johnst...

Taking Stock with Mandy Johnston

09:00-10:00

Share

FUTUREPROOF WITH JONATHAN MCCR...

FUTUREPROOF WITH JONATHAN MCCREA

10:00-11:00

Share

ON THE RECORD WITH GAVAN REILL...

ON THE RECORD WITH GAVAN REILLY

11:00-13:00

Share

OFF THE BALL

OFF THE BALL

13:00-19:00

Share

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

Share on