"I'm not sure we would take that advice if that advice was given again because that turned out to be too quick."
Speaking to Bryan Dobson on RTÉ News at One earlier today, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar commented that the December decision to move from Level 5 to Level 3 was "too quick" in hindsight.
"Government always listens to the advice of NPHET but we also have to take into account other factors.
"People's constitutional freedoms, for example, the need to make sure that people are able to see their friends, family and relatives, that jobs aren't lost forever and we need to see what's happening around the world too.
"We'll always listen to, and consider the advice, but ultimately government has to make a decision and the advice last time, let's not forget, was to move from Level 5 to Level 3. I'm not sure we would take that advice if that advice was given again because that turned out to be too quick."
Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has said the move late last year from Level 5 restrictions back to Level 3 ‘turned out to be too quick’. Mr Varadkar said that this was the advice given to the Government by the National Public Health Emergency team. | Read more: https://t.co/cCKY1UYLQW pic.twitter.com/x9WWCT2BfI
— RTÉ News (@rtenews) January 15, 2021
Level 5 restrictions were reintroduced across the country on midnight December 24th in light of the rising number of positive Covid-19 cases. 44% of all Covid-19 cases in Ireland have occurred in the past two weeks, with the current third wave proving to be much more difficult to manage than the previous two.
However, while the country still has a "long, long way to go", CMO Dr Tony Holohan has said that there are "early signs of hope" in the number of daily Covid-19 cases being reported.