Lockdown restrictions will not be eased next week.
Yesterday, Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney confirmed the measures will be continued beyond the original deadline and “well into February” after a further 2,488 new cases were reported, 314 in Cork, with 61 additional deaths from the virus.
Right now, 1,923 Covid-19 patients are hospitalised, of which 210 are in ICU.
Speaking at the Fianna Fáil parliamentary party, An Taoiseach Michéal Martin said the country still has “some distance to go” before Covid-19 safety measures can be loosened.
It is unlikely that pubs and restaurants will be permitted to reopen for indoor dining until the summer, with May or June a likely goal for reopening the hospitality industry.
‘You should not meet up with friends or loved ones’
Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, said the number of cases and deaths reported and the persistently high incidence rate of Covid-19 across the country “shows that we cannot underestimate the highly infectious nature of this disease and the impact that it can have on families and communities”.
“The virus spreads through close contacts, through the congregation of people.” Dr Holohan said.
“We need everyone to stay at home as much as possible and to work from home, where possible. You should not meet up with friends or loved ones unless you are caring for them. If you go out for exercise, you need to stay within 5km from your home, wear a face-covering where appropriate and wash your hands when you return home to protect yourself from infection.”
“If you are Covid positive you should self-isolate and stay at home, in your room, avoiding contact with other people. This is to protect the other people that you live with.”