- 16 Oct 20
After Donegal, Cavan and Monaghan were moved to Level 4 restrictions and household visits were prohibited island-wide on October 15th, NPHET recommended the country move to Level 5 restrictions.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said that he will give the National Public Health Emergency Team's recommendations to move to Level 5 restrictions "very detailed consideration."
At yesterday's Covid-19 briefing – which came after it was reported that cases had skyrocketed to 1,205 and three more people had died from Covid-19 – Chief Medical Officer Dr. Tony Holohan said that people should reduce their socialising as much as possible, and noted that it was now clear the virus was not under control.
Asked about the possibility of a nationwide move to Level 5, Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly said he did not "want to speak specifically about any recommendations," adding that he was "not at all surprised at what the data is showing."
When asked, Dr. Holohan reiterated that as much as individuals bear the responsibility for reducing social interactions, employers should also be taking responsibility for facilitating their workers to work from home.
Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr. Ronan Glynn noted that they were seeing concerning reports of people going in to work despite experiencing symptoms of Covid-19. "It's simply not acceptable this winter to be coming to work with cold and flu like symptoms," he said.
Speaking from the EU summit in Brussels, the Taoiseach said he read through NPHET's advice this morning (October 16), and would meet with party leaders tomorrow. He said that the Government would be "examining all aspects of this, and make sure when we respond, it will be with a comprehensive response." While Mr. Martin stressed that he did not want to place a timeline on the decision, he also noted that he wanted to have the situation "well documented and well prepared."
Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said, speaking at the Government Buildings, that a second lockdown would be much more difficult than the first one, and stressed the necessity for making a decision that takes both public health and societal and economic impact into consideration.