NPHET meeting today to discuss plans to lift lockdown restrictions in Ireland
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NPHET meeting today to discuss plans to lift lockdown restrictions in Ireland

THE NATIONAL Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) are set to meet today to discuss plans to ease the lifting of lockdown restrictions across Ireland.

Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan confirmed the meeting, saying that they will be examining a number of different ways that measures can gradually be eased, though no such plans are being considered for use just yet.

"We're giving specific consideration to a range of measures that might be contemplated in a situation whereby the disease characteristics are such that we might be able to think about changing some restrictions," Holohan said.

"That work we're doing. We're having a further look at all of that. And then we look at the question of travel, as always part of our agenda on a consistent basis."

Despite the coronavirus narrative beginning to gradually inch its way towards talk of an 'exit' from lockdown restrictions, Ireland recorded its highest daily toll of deaths from the virus, with 77 reported fatalities.

Furthermore, 401 new cases were diagnosed, with the total number of cases diagnosed in the country since the outbreak standing at over 15,000.

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Taoiseach Leo Varadkar yesterday refused to speculate about when the country would be able to reopen.

"Certainly anecdotally and speaking to people, there does seem to have been an increase in traffic and an increase in people out and about," he said.

"It is OK for people to be out and about so long as they observe social distancing. It is OK for people to travel provided those journeys are necessary."

Varadkar added though that he was concerned about "a little bit of complacency" which seems to be setting in.

"That worries us because we are making real progress in terms of predicting the rate the virus is spreading and we don't want to lose that," he added.