'Our strategy of suppression is one of 'Delay and Vaccinate'.'
While members of the government are still ironing out what exactly the ease of Level 5 restrictions will involve next week, some are looking beyond that, with what they believe will see another rise in transmission rates, and a need to return to further restrictions once Christmas and New Years celebrations have passed.
There has even been advice issued on how to hug your friends and family over the festive season, but it is likely that the reintroduction of new people into your bubble will lead to an increase in COVID cases, and the in-and-out of restrictions will likely not end until the vaccine has been widely available.
Speaking at government buildings yesterday evening, Leo Varadkar had the following to say:
"The situation can deteriorate rapidly, and we can return to exponential growth. And while we know much more about the virus, it is just as contagious and transmissible as it was before. I believe we should seek to ease restrictions next week, but not so much that it requires us to return to Level 4 or 5 for a prolonged period in the new year.
"A short third period of enhanced restrictions may well be necessary in January or February, but we should try to avoid it being a prolonged one. Our strategy of suppression is perhaps best described as one of 'Delay and Vaccinate', and I do not believe we are too far away from seeing that succeed.
"Safe and effective vaccines are on the way, and when we vaccinate those most at risk, like nursing home residents and health care workers - about 200,000 people - we will change the calculus for future decision making. It will change the R number, case numbers, and mortality rates."