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Country "On Track" To Move To 2nd Phase Of Easing Covid Restrictions

Niall Colbert
Niall Colbert

3:56 PM - 29 May 2020



The country is on track to move to the second phase of the easing of COVID-19 restrictions, according to Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.

The government will announce next Friday whether it is safe to proceed to the next stage of the roadmap for reopening the country.

However, Toaiseach Leo Varadkar has cautioned against accelerating the easing of restrictions.

"We'll look at the data again next week. The reason we set this 3 week reference period was because it takes at least 2 weeks to know if the actions that you took are having an effect or not."

"We only eased restrictions for the first time on May 18th, and it's really going to be next week before we can determine whether we can move to phase 2 and whether we can have any confidence about bringing forward some of the actions that are in phase three and phase four."

He says making any decision today about accelerating would be premature and risky and further advice is required from the National Public Health Emergency Team.

SCHOOLS

Meanwhile, Leo Varadkar says schools should reopen at the start of the new school year at the end of August or the beginning of September.

Leo Varadkar says however not every student may be able to return every day for the full day.

He says the objective is to have schools operate as close to normal as possible.

CHILDCARE

Details have also been released on the plans to reopen childcare facilities across the country.

"Play pods" form a central part of the advice to service providers intending to reopen at the end of June.

The model will restrict interactions between closed groups of children and adults as an alternative to social distancing, which is not possible with young children.

The purpose of ‘play-pods’ is to limit the number of people a child has contact with, to facilitate tracing, and to support close, positive interactions between children and their adult caregivers.

The Department of Children says where possible, there should be two adults in a ‘play-pod’.

The maximum size of a ‘play-pod’ will be confirmed in the coming days.

HOSPITALS

It's also been confirmed that the current deal that saw the State take over private hospitals for the Covid-19 outbreak, will not be extended.

It will not go beyond the end of June however the government will instead seek a new deal that would allow access to private hospitals for some non-COVID related services or if a second wave hits.



Read more about

Coronavirus Covid Ireland Leo Varadkar Taoiseach

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