A FINAL decision on whether phase one of the government’s roadmap for easing the Covid-19 restrictions can begin next week will be made later this week.
Phase one, which is due to begin on Monday, May 18, includes the reopening of some retail outlets, such as garden centres, and the resumption of outdoor work, such as construction.
The National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) expects to make a determination on Thursday.
Issues remain around Ireland’s sample, test and trace processes with some waiting over a week on their test results. This is one of the key factors the NPHET will consider.
“We’ll make a final assessment on Thursday in relation to where we think we are,” Dr Tony Holohan, the Chief Medical Officer, said.
“We think we’re making good progress, our reproduction number is where we want it to be and the level of infection that we’re detecting in the community now, with the positivity rate in and around 3% is giving us a sense of encouragement in relation to where we will be and our readiness to move on.
“But that’s not me saying ‘today is the day’, if we’re going to be easing restrictions, this would be in respect of an assessment we will formally do towards the end of this week and in respect of Monday.”
This morning, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar also said that things were ‘going in the right direction’ to enable the first phase of the reopening to begin next week. Phase one will also permit people to meet in small groups, provided that physical distancing measures are maintained.
Last week, Dr Holohan expressed his concerns surrounding the number of community-based cases of Covid-19, especially among young member society.
He said: “We are seeing a persistent number of infections coming from the community, if I’m honest about it, particularly from younger people in the community, it’s a number that isn’t falling as much as we would like and we’re keeping an eye on that.”Tags: