Level 5 restrictions should stay in place until Covid-19 is eliminated completely - Irish scientists argue
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Level 5 restrictions should stay in place until Covid-19 is eliminated completely - Irish scientists argue

A GROUP of Irish scientists say that Level Five restrictions should remain in place across the country until Covid-19 has been totally eradicated.

Members of the Independent Scientific Advocacy Group (ISAG) think that Ireland should "aggressively suppress" the virus, and that the country should stay in full lockdown until each individual county has zero cases.

In a paper setting outlining their potential strategy, ISAG claimed "the result will be a fully open economy and normal social life, without significant restrictions in the country".

The group argues that Ireland's current approach leaves the country vulnerable to more waves of infection next year, which will bring about further lockdowns.

This in turn, the group say, would be disastrous for the economy given that vaccine-based immunity will likely happen in late 2021 at the very earliest.

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Among the measures suggested by ISAG are a 14-day mandatory quarantine for all international travellers, the prohibition of movement between counties, and extra resources provided for track-and-trace technology.

"Each case [of coronavirus] that emerges must be treated like a murder: swift and thorough contact tracing and testing to nip outbreaks in the bud," the group says.

Measures and restrictions would be implemented and lifted according to geography, so that if a county reduces its number of cases, restrictions there would be lifted so "efforts and sacrifices are rewarded immediately by county."

Despite ISAG's suggestions, Government ministers have stressed that a 'zero-Covid' approach will not be undertaken, according to the Irish Times.