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Health Minister Simon Harris says restrictions will not be lifted tomorrow

Health Minster Simon Harris has said restrictions put in place to curtail the Covid-19 outbreak will not be lifted tomorrow.

Dr Tony Holohan and the National Public Health and Emergency team (NPHET) are due to meet tomorrow to discuss when the restrictions could potentially be lifted, Mr Harris said.

“This kind of decides on the restrictions and how long they want us to continue them for. So let me just to be blunt and honest with people, the restrictions that are in place are not going to be lifted tomorrow.

“We’re going to have to keep at it. What we’re hoping to be able to do tomorrow is show people what the journey looks like. We’re going to keep at this for another couple of weeks, where does it bring us, what does success look like,” Mr Harris told PJ and Jim on Classic Hits this morning.

He said it is unlikely the country will reach a stage where the virus has been completely wiped out, but he hopes that once the health care system has outbreak under control the public will be able to return to “some degree of normality”.

“Even if we have it under control, we have got to get to a point where we know that even if people get the virus they will be able to be looked after.

“We’re not looking to get to the magic point where the virus is absolutely 100pc gone before people can get back to some degree of normality.”

He added that if the public does not comply with health regulations and travel restrictions the health crisis could “end up going backwards to a very very dark place.”

“When you look at other countries, I’m encouraged by what I see here but what it’s not where it needs to be. And if we got this weekend wrong, or if we all got a bit lazy or complacent which is human nature, we’d actually end up going backwards to a very dark place,” he said.

His comments come as more than 2,500 gardai have begun operating over 50 checkpoints nationwide between now and the Bank Holiday as part of Operation Fanacht.

Those who have already travelled to their holiday homes have asked to remain there, while those who attempt to travel to places of temporary residence over the weekend will be turned away by gardai.

People found outside their home without a “reasonable excuse” will be given one chance to comply with garda instructions, but will then face a fine of up to €2,500.

From The Irish Independent.