Irish government rejects advice from NPHET to impose Level Five restrictions

Irish government rejects advice from NPHET to impose Level Five restrictions

THE IRISH government has reportedly rejected advice from the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) to raise the country's Covid-19 restriction status to Level Five.

Its understood that NPHET recommended the government introduce Level Five restrictions nationwide in response to a recent rise in coronavirus cases.

Under these restrictions, the public will be asked to remain at home and work remotely, where possible, while excursions outdoors will be limited to exercise within 5km of home.

NPHET described a full national lockdown as the "only opportunity" to get infection rates "back under control".

But it appears that the Government has decided not to follow the health advice presented by Ireland's Chief Medical Officer Tony Holohan.

A Government source told the Irish Times that restriction levels across the country will be going up in the near future, but would fall short of the maximum level.

It is expected the Cabinet will agree to place the State under Level 3 with added measures. Level 4 would have meant the closure of many more retail outlets, the economic consequences of which the Government was concerned about.

A Cabinet meeting has taken place this afternoon to finalise the new measures.

NPHET had advised the Government that it was "vital to do everything in our power now to arrest the current trajectory nationally and suppress the virus back down to a low level of transmission in advance of the winter months".

In the past 24 hours, 365 more people tested positive for coronavirus while no further deaths were confirmed.

That brings the total number of infections to 38,032 since the pandemic began.

According to figures calculated by the chairman of NPHET’s modelling group, Professor Philip Nolan, cases could climb to as high as 1,300 per day nationally by the end of the month unless further restrictions are introduced.