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Dublin: 24 °C Tuesday 2 June, 2020
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Chief Medical Officer says large gatherings of people 'are exactly things we don't want to see'

Tony Holohan suggested that the weather this weekend might help people follow the public health rules.

Dr Tony Holohan at the Department of Health briefing this evening.
Dr Tony Holohan at the Department of Health briefing this evening.
Image: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie

CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER Tony Holohan has expressed concerns about the behaviour of some people since Covid-19 restrictions were eased slightly on Monday. 

Asked about images on social media of large gatherings of people, Holohan confirmed that he’d seen them. 

“There has been some congregation and we don’t expect we’re going to see 100% compliance all of the time by everybody. So some of the kinds of scenes you’ve described, I have seen one or two of them myself on social media, are exactly examples of things we don’t want to see happening,” Holohan said in response to questions at the Department of Health briefing this evening.

“I think that the vast majority of people are still keeping faith with the public health advice we are giving,” he said. Holohan also said that some element of non-compliance with the rules was anticipated and considered by health officials. 

Under the new rules announced for Phase One, parks, beaches, mountain walks, heritage and cultural sites have re-opened, while people are permitted to meet in groups of up to four outside while maintaining physical distancing. 

“If the public got ahead of us and started doing some of the things we saw in those locations, that would lead to the kinds of conditions that would facilitate spread,” he warned.

“So more engagement, more close contact, more close social contact, between individuals. All of these things are going to facilitate spread of what is a very transmissible infection.”

Holohan praised the work of gardaí in breaking up crowds and communicating the public health guidelines introduced to combat the spread of Covid-19. 

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“We might have a bit of assistance from the weather this weekend,” he said. 

This evening, the Department of Health confirmed that a further 11 people have died from Covid-19 in Ireland. 

The death toll from Covid-19 in Ireland is now 1,592.

A further 115 cases of the virus were also confirmed here, bringing the total number of cases to 24,506.

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