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Taoiseach: Country 'on track' to see final Covid restrictions lifted in fortnight's time

An Taoiseach also said that an expanded Covid booster jab programme is also set to be discussed.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin pictured in Slovenia today.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin pictured in Slovenia today.
Image: Darko Bandic

TAOISEACH MICHEÁL MARTIN has said that the country is “on track” for the lifting of the remainder of Covid-19 restrictions on 22 October. 

Friday fortnight is scheduled to see a range of restrictions removed, including requirements for social distancing, most indoor mask-wearing and limits on numbers at events.

It is also planned that entry requirements to premises, such as vaccination certs or testing, will be removed as nightclubs open for the first time in 19 months

Speaking today at an EU-Western Balkans summit in Slovenia, An Taoiseach said that “it’s all track right now”.

“We are on track for that. I’ve been talking to the Chief Medical Officer, the situation in schools has come back to summer levels, the CMO is happy with that, that’s stabilised,” Martin said.

The vaccination has had a huge impact in terms of preventing severe illness, mortality and excessive hospitalisation. That said, we still will have to wear masks where they’re statutory in terms of retail, public transport and healthcare settings.

Speaking yesterday, NPHET’s head of modelling Professor Philip Nolan said that Ireland was coming ‘close to suppressing’ Covid-19 and that “we’re in a good place” in relation to the lifting restrictions. 

Cabinet is set to meet tomorrow in Dublin with the primary item on the agenda the decision over whether Ireland will sign up to OECD efforts to harmonise global corporation tax

Martin also said that, over the coming weeks, Cabinet will be looking at the expansion of Covid-19 booster jabs. Booster shots are currently being scheduled for vulnerable groups, such as over 65s living in residential care and anyone over the age of 80

Martin said today that health authorities will be looking at expanding booster vaccines to younger age cohorts throughout the winter. 

“At the moment the booster vaccine has been administered in respect of certain categories, again the medical authorities will look at expanding that over the coming weeks in terms of the other age cohorts,” he said.

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“That’s a matter that will have to be given consideration as we move closer into the into the winter period. And so look, it’s all it’s all on track right now.”

About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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