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Dr Ronan Glynn: 'Just because you can do things from tomorrow doesn't mean that you should'

Dr Glynn warned that family gatherings at Christmas on top of socialising in the lead-up will pose “significant” challenges in terms of Covid-19 case numbers.

Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn
Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn
Image: Sam Boal

PUBLIC HEALTH OFFICIALS have urged people to limit their contacts in the lead-up to Christmas as Level 5 restrictions ease from tomorrow. 

Speaking at a briefing from the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) this evening, Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn warned that family gatherings at Christmas on top of socialising in the lead-up will pose “significant” challenges in terms of Covid-19 case numbers. 

“The key thing that people can be doing now in relation to what they might be doing over those couple of weeks is plan ahead,” Dr Glynn said. 

“If you are planning on meeting elderly relatives [at Christmas], if you are planning on meeting other households now is not the time to be socialising with friends,” he said. 

“If we have significant levels of inter-generational mixing in the Christmas to New Year period and if that comes on the back of two or three weeks of socialisation now, we will have significant issues in terms of case numbers and the trajectory of disease.”

Level 5 restrictions will begin lifting from tomorrow with outdoors sporting activities resuming and non-essential retail shops reopening. 

On Friday, restaurants and gastropubs will begin reopening with restrictions in place. From 18 December, inter-county travel and home visitor restrictions will be eased allowing families and friends to gather at Christmas. 

This evening, Dr Glynn painted a one-or-the-other scenario facing the public as Ireland moves back to Level 3. 

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“Obviously we will want people to celebrate Christmas in a particular way when the time comes but there are things they need to be doing now to keep themselves safe in advance of doing that,” he said. 

“Just because you can do things from tomorrow doesn’t mean that you should,” said Dr Glynn. 

Dr Glynn said that NPHET will give more specific advice regarding visits over the festive period closer to Christmas. 

Health officials this evening confirmed one further death from Covid-19 in Ireland and 306 additional cases. 

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