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Top doctor calls for different lockdown rules for different parts of Ireland

By James Fenton

June 1, 2020 at 10:40am

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A leading Irish doctor has called for the introduction of different lockdown rules for different parts of Ireland.

Infectious disease specialist Professor Samuel McConkey was speaking on Morning Ireland on RTE Radio One today and referenced a similar system in Italy where different rules have been implemented in different areas.

He cited places like Sligo, which hasn't seen any new cases of Covid-19 for two weeks, saying: "Going from somewhere like Donegal to Leitrim to Sligo to Mayo at this point is probably relatively safe, because they all have very similar profiles and very good control of this virus. But going from Dublin to Rosses Point at this point it is not such a good idea as it may be potentially reintroducing the virus back into Sligo, and then it could spread and grow there. So that idea of looking at our country as different regions is one way we could gradually get out of this."

McConkey also addressed concerns about large gatherings at beaches and other beauty spots, saying: "I'm much more worried about house parties. Being outdoors in the open air, even if you have 500 people at a beach, is relatively safe. The sun kills the virus and the wind blows it away. So the outdoors I feel less concerned about."

A government decision on if and how Ireland will enter phase 2 of the roadmap to recovery is expected this coming Friday. Phase 2 is due to begin on Monday, June 8.

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