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Stephen Donnelly says the Covid-19 'levels' system is 'largely gone'

“We’re in Level 5, you could argue we’re going to a 3-plus or a 4-minus.”

Image: Leah Farrell

MINISTER FOR HEALTH Stephen Donnelly has said that the Government’s ‘Covid-19 levels’ are “largely gone”, but that they’re still a “useful architecture”.

In September, the Government announced a five-level Living with Covid plan. Each level was to carry a series of restrictions, with Level 1 being the least amount of restrictions and Level 5 carrying the most (and often referred to as ‘lockdown’).

The aim was to give businesses a chance to prepare for reopening, and to give people some sense of a Government plan to tackle Covid-19. 

But there has been confusion about the plan from the start – particularly when restrictions announced by the Government didn’t fit neatly into one of the five levels.

In February, the Government announced a ‘revamp’ to the Living with Covid plan, that largely looked the same as the last one.

Following on from the Government announcement last night for the reopening of the summer, the Taoiseach was asked at a press briefing by The Journal what level of the Living with Covid plan we were currently on.

After appearing unsure, he said it could probably be described as “Level 3 plus”. 

Speaking on RTÉ Radio’s Today with Claire Byrne programme, Donnelly was asked the same question, and said: “We’re in Level 5, you could argue we’re going to a ’3 plus’ or a ’4 minus’ … but I think at this point it’s probably better to just look at the measures.”

Minister Donnelly added that the Covid levels are “largely gone”, but that they are still a “useful architecture”.

Donnelly also said that there are now 71 cases of the South African variant in Ireland, and that “these are a concern, no question about it”.

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