IRELAND’S CHIEF Medical Officer has urged the public to avoid pubs and restaurants as cases of Covid-19 continue to rise sharply.
Dr Tony Holohan issued the plea as part of a concerted effort to try and slow the spiralling number of cases being reported in the run-up to Christmas.
Despite much of Ireland reopening earlier this month following six weeks of lockdown, Dr Holohan is advising against friends and families meeting up in pubs, restaurants and other social settings.
The Chief Medical Officer took to Twitter to plead his case.
He tweeted: "Cases rising quickly. We have low cases and deaths compared to EU/UK/US. This is at risk now- just as vaccines arrive. To protect yourself & those you love: Stay home. Don’t meet up. Stay away from restaurants/pubs. Avoid crowds. Use masks. Follow health advice."
The advice comes after 527 new cases were recorded in Ireland his past Saturday.
Commenting on the increased numbers, Dr Holohan noted that while the situation in Ireland was worsening, there was still time to reduce the spread before Christmas.
"The figures we are seeing across all key indicators of disease severity continue to give us strong reason for persistent, ongoing concern,” he said.
"As we head into a week with uniquely risky inter-household and inter-generational mixing, please remember to act responsibly. Start this weekend. It is never too late to cut down your contacts, cancel plans, or avoid a crowd.”
“Bear in mind that you may well be the link in a chain of transmission that ends with a vulnerable loved one catching this dangerous disease. Stop that chain of transmission now – limit your movements today.”
The warnings come ahead of a week in which the Irish government is expected to introduce new restrictions across the country.
Over the weekend UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson introduced tougher new measures across large areas of the country following an outbreak of a new, mor contagious, strain of Covid-19.
While the new strain is spread more easily, it does not result in a more serious form of illness.