It might be time to clear off your desk once more.
The government is facing pressure to row back on its easing of restrictions as Covid-19 case numbers remain at levels not seen since January.
Yesterday, 3,805 new cases of the virus were confirmed, while 582 people were confirmed to be in hospital with the illness, 106 of them receiving intensive care.
Addressing the serious and persistent surge in cases, Taoiseach Micheál Martin struck a relatively calm tone, assuring the public that “”we are in a much better position” now than last year thanks to success in vaccine uptake. However, when it came to reintroduction of restrictions, the Taoiseach acknowledged that “nothing can be ruled out in respect of Covid-19, we know that by now.”
A sub-Cabinet committee is set to take place later today (November 15th) with a specific view to discussing work protocols, and whether a return to working from home should be encouraged by official guidelines.
It is also expected that this week will see an announcement of subsidised antigen tests. On the subject the Taoiseach has said ”
The Taoiseach said: “We are looking into expanding testing and tracing, particularly antigen testing. The Minister for Health will be bringing forward proposals in respect of the wider deployment of antigen testing and also making it more affordable for people.
“We don’t envisage tests being made free in the general sense, but we do want to encourage people to utilise antigen testing more frequently, more regularly. Therefore, we’ll be looking at making them more affordable for people.” Rapid antigen tests are currently free in the United Kingdom.