Taoiseach confirms level five lockdown will be extended until March 5th
30 January, 2021, 15:01
An Taoiseach Micheál Martin has confirmed that current Level 5 restrictions will be extended until March 5.
The enforced two-week confinement will also apply to anyone travelling from South Africa and Brazil regardless of whether they have a negative test or not.
"The hospital personnel, we need to relieve the pressure on them and the system will need time and space from the current, very strong pressure on them".
Speaking on his way into today's Cabinet meeting, the Taoiseach says the restrictions are essential to reduce the covid numbers.
Mr Harris also said the new rules did not go far enough and called for more clarity on how the proposed quarantine regulations would work in practice.
Passengers will have to quarantine at state-chosen hotels - but will be able to leave if they get a negative PCR test after 5 days.
While Nphet has previously welcomed the move to introduce a pre-arrival testing requirement in the Republic, it cautioned that "further measures should be adopted" and called for "discretion as it now applies" to be removed.
Sources at the meeting said the quarantine proposals presented to the gathering needed a lot more work, which Health Minister Stephen Donnelly committed to undertake in cooperation with other departments.
To do that we "obviously have to reduce transmission in the community" and we are making headway there the public are adhering strongly to the guidelines, he said.
Mr Martin was responding to criticism from the leader of the Opposition, Mary Lou McDonald.
"It will be a prolonged suppression of the virus".
"What we got is a Government that is clearly at sixes and sevens, with no idea of how to proceed beyond March 5", The Dublin Central TD said.
The minister made a submission to the Cabinet Committee on Covid-19 over the weekend seeking to have the ban lifted.
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