LEVEL FIVE restrictions in Ireland could last more than six weeks, according to Housing Minister Darragh O'Brien.
Speaking on Tuesday about the Government's decision to increase restrictions, the Fianna Fáil TD admitted that six weeks was the "optimum time frame," but that the situation would be under review throughout that period.
O'Brien suggested that Level Five restrictions could be shortened as well as extended - it all depended on what the statistics show when the situation is reviewed.
"We're doing this to tackle the virus head-on, to suppress its growth so we can open up again in December," the Dublin Fingal TD said.
"NPHET has advised us that six weeks is the appropriate length of time. We will be keeping this under review during the course of that. That is the optimum timeframe that will lead us to have these measures to take effect.
"We had Level Three for over 30 days in Dublin. That did have somewhat of a stabilising effect initially but it started to creep back up.
"The measures were really difficult for people. But six weeks is the optimum time frame and that is what we’re planning on."
At midnight tonight, Ireland as a whole will move to Level Five of the Government's 'Living With Covid Plan'.
The restrictions, it was announced, will last for six weeks, but there will be a review of the situation after four weeks - at which point the restrictions could be lifted, reduced, extended or simply left in place for the remaining two weeks.