IRELAND IS to remain in lockdown until March.
The Taoiseach has also warned that restrictions could remain in place beyond that date.
Though a Cabinet review of the situation is due to take place next week, Micheál Martin has confirmed there are no plans to lift the lockdown measures in place.
Previously there had been some hope that restrictions would be easied from mid-February onwards, with several Government figures indicating such a plan was being discussed.
However, Martin has now confirmed that a review of the measures in place has been pushed back another four weeks.
The Taoiseach said the public “could take it” from here on out that the Government will “take stock every four weeks.”
Ireland’s current lockdown restrictions had been scheduled to be lifted on January 31st pending a review but that date has now been moved to February 28th.
All of which means the country is unlikely to see any easing of lockdown measures until March 1st.
Despite this downbeat assessment, Martin said both schools and construction projects could yet reopen and restart before the beginning of March.
Speaking to reporters following a virtual European Council meeting with other EU leaders Marti said: “Certainly, there is no talk at the moment in terms of any relaxation or reversing of restrictions at the end of this month.
“We are looking at a continuation of restrictions into February.
“I think you can take it that we’ll take stock every four weeks of the situation.”
Martin added that Ireland and the UK were exploring the possibility of greater collaboration on travel restrictions and quarantine rules to prevent any possible spread caused by movement between the two countries.
He was keen to stressed, however, that such plans remain at an “exploratory” stage.