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21st Jan 2021

Taoiseach says Level 5 restrictions likely until middle of next month at least

Sarah Finnan


Speaking on Ireland AM this morning, Taoiseach Micheál Martin refused to rule out the possibility that pubs, restaurants and other hospitality businesses could remain closed until much later in the year. 

One of the guests on Ireland AM this morning, Taoiseach Michéal Martin was on to answer questions on Covid, current restrictions as well as vaccine rollout.  Commenting that everything is dependent on the rate of infection, Martin refused to rule out the possibility that businesses could be forced to remain closed for much longer than first anticipated.

Saying that he “can’t make predictions” in terms of what’s going to happen down the line, the Taoiseach did say that Level 5 restrictions will almost certainly be extended until the middle of next month at least.

“We do want to give clarity and we will look at it in detail when the Cabinet committee on Covid meets on Monday and we get advice from NPHET on this current wave, which is very difficult.

“Community transmission is too high at the moment, the numbers are still too high and we need to get them down. We aren’t anticipating a relaxation of restrictions next week or, I think, well into the next month. ”

Pushed as to the rumoured timeline for the reopening of pubs and whether they could remain closed until May/June time, he later added that “we have to take it one step at a time”, refusing to make predictions that far ahead.

Trying to reassure the public that there is cause for hope, the Taoiseach said that the vaccine rollout will have a “significant impact” on the situation.

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