Government to give ‘as much clarity as possible’ on easing restrictions


Minister for Justice Helen McEntee has said the Government will “give as much clarity as possible” on Tuesday on the new Living with Covid plan.

Speaking on RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland, Ms McEntee said she appreciated people wanted a clear plan. The Government wanted to give it and wanted to ensure this was the last lockdown.

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“But we need to do so in a careful way,” she said.

The Minister said she and all of the Cabinet, including the Taoiseach, wanted to be able to answer questions about the Living with Covid plan, but they were dealing with a virus that changed daily.

“We will be assessing how to open society carefully.”

Ms McEntee also said if the legislation for mandatory quarantine in hotels passes through the Dáil and the Seanad in the next two weeks she anticipated that the hotels in which people arriving into the country will quarantine would be ready in “three to four weeks.”

She said that she fully appreciated that mandatory quarantine was not happening as quickly as people wanted, but there was legislation that needed to pass, civil liberties that had to be protected, and it all had to be done on public health grounds.

“We need to get this right.”

A Cabinet sub-committee meeting involving Taoiseach Micheál Martin, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar, Green Party leader Eamon Ryan and senior Ministers will take place later on Monday to finalise a revised Living with Covid-19 Plan. A full Cabinet meeting will take place on Tuesday.


Childcare could reopen in phases if Covid situatio…

The National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) has advised the current Level 5 restrictions should be extended beyond the current cut-off date of March 5th.

It is understood Nphet has advised the opening of schools and childcare can happen on a “cautious and phased basis” as long as Covid-19 numbers continue to improve to the end of February.

Nphet’s advice to the Government is that further reopening of the economy and society should be undertaken cautiously and on a step-by-step basis, taking into account the impact on case numbers of the initial moves in relation to education.

On Monday, Nphet reported one further death from Covid-19 and 679 new cases.

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