August 3, 2021

COVID-19 LATEST: Death toll surpasses 1,500, Taoiseach warns it will be ‘months’ before normal travel possible

Ten more people have died after contracting the coronavirus as 426 new cases of Covid-19 were confirmed this evening.

The overall death toll as a result of the virus now stands at 1,506. There are now 23,827 confirmed cases of Covid-19 across the country.

The latest casualties were confirmed as Taoiseach Leo Varadkar indicated the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) is set to advise people to wear “face coverings” as the Covid-19 restrictions are eased.

Speaking in the Dáil, the Taoiseach said there would need to be a public information campaign regarding their use.

Mr Varadkar earlier said he was increasingly confident about being able to move to Phase One of lifting the Covid-19 restrictions on Monday. NPHET met today to conduct its assessment and Cabinet will make a decision tomorrow after it receives its advice.

The Taoiseach said it is the Government’s policy to resume “normal travel” as soon as it was safe to do so, but it would be months, and not weeks, before this was possible.

Also addressing the Dáil, Health Minister Simon Harris said hospital admissions have fallen from 20 a day last week to the current daily rate of between 10 and 15.

The minister said the country was moving to a new phase, but stressed that every movement carried increased risk.

He said every step must be taken carefully and warned that unlocking a lockdown was fraught with danger and risk.

“We must now try to chart a path to a new normal. This will be a long road and the final destination is unknown,” he said.

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