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File image of Taoiseach Micheál Martin speaking to media earlier this month. Sasko Lazarov

Micheál Martin: 'We won't be afraid to implement measures specifically in Dublin'

“The most important thing about Dublin is how to get to grips with the virus,” the Taoiseach said.

TAOISEACH MICHEÁL MARTIN has said the government would have no hesitation in implementing Dublin-specific measures to deal with Covid-19. 

The Cabinet is due to consider advice from the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) on Tuesday following a series of warnings from the acting Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn about the deteriorating situation in Dublin. 

Speaking on An tSeachtain le Máirín Ní Ghadhra on RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta, Martin said the government has learned from the local lockdowns implemented in Kildare, Offaly and Laois. 

“We’ll get advice from NPHET on Tuesday and we’ll have to weigh their advice… the most important thing about Dublin is how to get to grips with the virus to lower the number of cases and to put pressure on the virus,” Martin said.

“We won’t be afraid to implement measures specifically in Dublin, if that’s the way forward… We did that in Kildare, Offaly and Laois… I know that some counties have low number of cases, and I understand that argument, that there are differences and so the same restrictions shouldn’t apply.”

The government will release a new roadmap for ‘Living with Covid’ next week. It will include a colour-coded, five-level system to indicate what public health measures are in place in different areas of the country at any given time. 

The long-mooted plan – set to replace the original roadmap set out by Leo Varadkar on 1 May – will be announced by Micheál Martin on Tuesday. 

The Taoiseach said this roadmap will have “flexibility” in terms of restrictions brought in on a county basis. 

“We can assess the situation from county to county. The very highest level of restrictions is to implement measures on a national basis,” he said. 

He added that research shows the pandemic “has had a terrible impact on physical and mental health”. 

“We need to focus on that… so we’re considering people’s lifestyles, and we’re looking at that in terms of sport and culture, we have to make exceptions and tailored plans for those sectors in this country.”

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