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The Explainer: What led to the new Covid-19 restrictions?

This week’s episode sees Professor Philip Nolan, chair of NPHET, talk us through the decision making.

YESTERDAY EVENING SAW the government tighten restrictions at what it said was a “critical moment” for the country. 

The underlying message was that Ireland’s instances of Covid-19 are too high right now and the government needed to respond with a suite of new public health measures.

The news came right before 190 new cases were announced, meaning we had a five-day rolling average of 116.

“Until there is a vaccine, we have to keep our guard up. We have to suppress the virus in order to progress further as an economy and as a society,” said Taoiseach Micheál Martin.

Among the changes are tightened rules on home visits and other gatherings, and on how many people can gather to train or take gym classes. People aged over 70 or at greater risk of serious illness are also asked to “exercise individual judgement to limit their interactions to a small network for short periods”.

Professor Philip Nolan, chair of the NPHET Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group and current president of Maynooth University, talks us through the reasoning behind these restrictions and what the government means when it says we are at a ‘critical time’ in Ireland.

And to talk us through the ins and outs of the restrictions, our reporter Nicky Ryan joins us on the podcast this week. He writes our extremely informative coronavirus newsletter, which you can subscribe to here.

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Source: The Explainer/SoundCloud

This episode was put together by presenter and producer Aoife Barry, assistant producer and technical operator Nicky Ryan, and executive producer Christine Bohan. Guest was Philip Nolan, president of Maynooth University. Design by Palash Somani.

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