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Donnelly: 'There is no appetite to not exit level 5 in two weeks'

By Sarah Finnan

November 18, 2020 at 12:01pm

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Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly has said that "there is no appetite to not exit level 5 in two weeks".

Speaking on RTÉ News about current restrictions and what the public can expect to happen further down the line, Minister Donnelly said:

"There is no appetite to not exit level 5 in two weeks. There was a very clear decision made which was level 5 for six weeks which is why the next two weeks matter so much."

Reiterating the importance of the coming days and weeks, he went on to say:

"I don’t think with Covid, the Irish government or any government anywhere, can say 'no matter what' on anything. We are largely on course - the first three weeks were really good."

Acknowledging that the public has made "huge sacrifices", Donnelly said that while people may be getting "fatigued", now is the time to "double down".

"Six weeks is a long period of time for level 5 measures. There has been an easing off over the last week, so what we want to see over the next two weeks- we've got to double down because we want to open up as much as possible for December."

Also commenting on a memo brought before Cabinet in relation to fines for public drinking, Donnelly said that the country has "stalled" in the last week and that the memo was proposed as a means to cut down on large crowds gathering "against the spirit and the letter of the regulations".

READ NEXT: Teachers’ Union asks government to start Christmas holidays a few days early

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