'Zero-Covid strategy' will never be possible in Ireland - Taoiseach
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'Zero-Covid strategy' will never be possible in Ireland - Taoiseach

TAOISEACH Micheál Martin has ruled out implementing a 'zero-Covid' approach in Ireland because the strategy is simply not sustainable.

He said that it was discussed at the Cabinet sub-committee on Monday, as well as with the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET), but that no health experts have recommended the plan.

Due to Ireland's border with Northern Ireland, which cannot be completely sealed, a 'zero-Covid' strategy - which means eliminating the spread of infection between people in Ireland and putting in place measures to prevent or quickly staunch any further imported cases - is not possible.

"It's a promise that you could never fulfil," Martin said.

"Once you reopen again, the prospect is there for reseeding of the virus."

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As he described, "the seamless interaction" north and south of the border means that without an all-Ireland approach, the idea simply wouldn't work, particularly given that many border communities travel between the two countries for work.

"It's not as simple as putting a seal on the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic, it's a seamless interaction," Martin continued.

"Likewise with the UK, we have very severe restrictions now, but there's always been historically that interaction. And then we're connected to the European Economic Zone.

"So there's always a limit to the degree to which you could seal the island of Ireland, there are real limits on capacity to do that," he added.