August 10, 2020
Business News

‘I don’t think we’re there yet’ – Taoiseach pours cold water on talks of easing of restrictions

Hopes that restriction imposed upon the public due to the coronavirus pandemic could be lifted soon have been dashed by the Taoiseach as he said the numbers regarding deaths and cases “just aren’t good enough yet.”

Speaking this morning during a visit to a Covid-19 Community Assessment Hub at DCU in Dublin An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar had to pour cold water on public calls for easing of restrictions on travel and social interaction. However, Mr Varadkar said no decision has been made as yet.

“Maybe it’ll change significantly by Friday,” the Taoiseach said, “but as things stand I don’t think we’re there yet.”

Hopes that hotels, retailers, and businesses could begin re-opening as well as the easing of restrictions on those cocooning had been raised by speculation in the national press over the past number of days, however, it appears from the Taoiseach’s comments it could a number of weeks before anything changes.

It is now understood the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) will recommend the current restrictions be extended for a further two weeks, bringing the lockdown up to the middle of May, or close to eight weeks of restrictions.

The Taoiseach said the hope is to announce the stages of reintegration to ease back the restrictions in the near future, but that time is not now and hinted it could be next week before the government’s strategy is unveiled.

“We expect to be in a position to share the exit strategy with the Irish public in the next couple of days, certainly over the weekend. We’ll be getting new advice from the Chief Medical Officer on Friday as to when we should start that process of reopening the economy and the country.”

He commended the public on how they have reacted to the ongoing restriction and said he understands they are “enormously frustrated.”

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