Leo Varadkar Says He Will Push...

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Leo Varadkar Says He Will Push For A Faster Easing Of Restrictions

Tom Douglas
Tom Douglas

01:06 17 Jan 2022

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The Tánaiste says he'll be pushing this week for a faster easing of Covid restrictions than we had in the past.

NPHET will meet on Thursday to consider the current spread, and project what's likely to happen over the coming weeks.

Leo Varadkar says Government will consider that advice over the weekend and make a decision on a way forward.

But the Tánaiste says he doesn't believe the Government needs to be as cautious as it was in the past, despite high case numbers:

"That hasn't turned into a huge numbers of hospital admissions or ICU admissions."

"The impact of omicron on hospitals in January has been significant, but probably not hugely more significant than a bad flu season would've been."

"I think that's put things into particular perspective and can give us hope that we can reopen across the spring and summer."

"I'd be very much pushing for a more ambitious and more rapid re-opening than we have had in the past."

Give As Much Notice As Possible

Meanwhile Independent Kerry TD Michael Healy Rae has added his voice to calls to extend hospitality opening hours.

He believes it's time to look at changing the 8pm closing time again:

"They're not open long enough to do a proper evening service."

"At the same time they want to be opened."

"So really it is, in effect, they want to keep their staff working."

"What I think, to give proper notice as soon as possible, and allow us go back to, for example, 11 o'clock."

"That would allow a more normal service to resume in our hospitality sector."

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