Ireland has no plans for a 'Freedom Day' like in the UK

Ireland has no plans for a 'Freedom Day' like in the UK

THERE are currently no plans for a 'Freedom Day' in Ireland, according to Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly.

On July 19, the UK lifted the majority of its Covid-19 restrictions, including rules on mask-wearing, social distancing and social gatherings.

It was dubbed 'Freedom Day', and while there were concerns that infection rates would skyrocket, after an initial rise, case numbers appear to now be dropping.

Speaking to Newstalk Breakfast on Wednesday, Minister Donnelly said that Ireland wouldn't simply lift all the restrictions in one big go like in the UK, insisting that a cautious approach to reopening was more appropriate.

"I think we’ll probably do it differently. We have taken a different approach to this than the UK has," Donnelly said.

"They have done some of the bigger events like the so-called 'Freedom Day'. The approach we’ve taken in Ireland is a cautious approach, it’s a steady approach and it’s a phased opening up.

"That has stood us well if you compare what’s happened in the different jurisdictions.

"I think, critically, we are seeing the cases fall in the UK. We’re also seeing them fall in the Netherlands and Spain and some other European countries that shot up."

When asked if there was a date in mind for Ireland to totally restriction-free, Donnelly insisted that was "too early" to make any predictions.

"Not yet. It’s simply too early to tell. We’re watching the figures like a hawk," he said.

"We have had about seven days now where it’s [case numbers] been flat, but we don’t know if the curve is going to start bending down again, stay flat or bend up."