DR TONY Holohan can't rule out new lockdown restrictions being reintroduced in the future should the pandemic get out of control again.
The Chief Medical Officer was speaking at the Oireachtas Health Committee where he said they will closely monitor the trajectory and incidence of the disease, and he can "never absolutely" rule out the return of restrictions should the pandemic get out of control again.
Addressing the committee, Dr Holohan said "We cannot predict with certainty the future trajectory of the disease and, consequently, we cannot fully rule out the possibility that the reintroduction of measures may be required in the future."
However he is "optimistic" about the current trajectory of the disease, and he does not believe that significant restrictions-- such as another lockdown-- will make a return based on the current evidence.
"We don’t think we’re going to be in a situation where some of the significant restrictions that had to be imposed in the Irish population are likely to be necessary on the basis of anything that we see in front of us right now," he told the committee.
Dr Holohan also confirmed that Ireland is currently on course to successfully lift restrictions further, as the "important criteria" on stable cases, hospitalisations and deaths given from the National Public Health Emergency Team are expected to be met in "a short number of weeks".
There is nothing in Ireland or internationally that is causing concern-- such as a new variant-- and daily cases in Ireland appear to be plateauing and declining.
Professor Philip Nolan, chair of the NPHET Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group, believes that Ireland is "just past the peak of infection and case numbers should decline from here on in, and that may be happening given the data we have now".
Further loosening of restrictions regarding changes to self-isolation rules for children and close contacts who are asymptomatic are due to be introduced in the coming weeks.
Yesterday, a further 1,181 additional cases of Covid-19 were confirmed, with 309 patients in hospital with the disease, 60 of those patients being treated in intensive care.
Ireland is set to remove most Covid-19 restrictions, including doing away with 'Covid passports' which allow only the fully vaccinated to dine or drink indoors, on 22 October.