Government set to announce 'cautious' easing of some restrictions for Ireland tomorrow

Government set to announce 'cautious' easing of some restrictions for Ireland tomorrow

THE NATIONAL Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) will meet today to make their final recommendations for Ireland's potential easing of restrictions.

The Government will announce any changes to the lockdown in a public announcement tomorrow, with the recommendations due to come into effect from 5 April.

It is expected that any changes to Ireland's three-month lockdown will be extremely cautious, as despite the Level 5 restrictions cases have begun to rise again, with the five-day average for cases now at 620.

Despite acknowledging that people are 'extremely frustrated' with the lockdown, any changes will be "cautious", according to RTÉ News which reports that the focus will be on meeting safely outdoors, as visits to people's houses are still far too high of a risk.

While the 5km travel restriction may be extended slightly, NPHET are also against people travelling between counties, particularly as some counties have a very low incidence rate while others have a very high incidence rate, and travel between counties could spread the disease.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney yesterday admitted the "room is very narrow" for any easing of restrictions and the approach will be "cautious", telling RTÉ Radio "we don't want to allow restrictions to be eased and then have to re-introduce them."

He said "some level of opening of the construction industry" would be a good thing as it would allow the building of social housing to continue, but "the first priority has to be public health and avoiding another wave of the virus".

He confirmed however that it is still the government's plan to see all schoolchildren across Primary and Secondary level to return to the classroom following the Easter holidays.

There has been a huge rise in Covid-19 cases linked to children of school going age since some years returned to the classrooms, however the government and health experts insist this is due to household outbreaks and 'playdates', and that schools remain safe.

In the UK, the first phase of Boris Johnson's ambitious roadmap out of the pandemic has come into effect today.

The 'stay at home' order has been lifted, with friends and family allowed to meet outdoors in parks or gardens and the return of outdoor sport.