People should still be wearing face masks, a Professor of Health Systems has told Newstalk.
The requirement to wear masks in shops or on public transport was dropped by the Government last month.
However, since then the number of people in hospital with COVID has surged to the highest level since February 2021; 1,127 patients currently have the virus - of whom 52 are being treated in ICU.
A new BA2 variant has been detected in Europe and Professor Anthony Staines of DCU said that it could soon be in Ireland:
“It’s spreading fast everywhere they’re looking for it,” Professor said.
“We don’t do a lot of genetic sequencing in Ireland but what we have been doing suggests that it’s mostly BA1 here but BA2 seems to be the dominant strain in the United Kingdom and Europe.
“So I expect it will be BA2 here shortly - if it isn’t already.”
“I think it’s going to be very important really for the foreseeable future to take sensible and reasonable precautions against COVID.
“And that’s going to mean things like, obviously vaccination first and foremost, but also things like ventilation, like working from home, socialising out of doors wherever possible and much wider use of air filtration and wider use of masks.”
Main image: An individual wearing PPE carries some masks.