Simon Harris: Ireland 'likely' to receive further social distancing recommendations
"It's the difference between saving lives and not."
Simon Harris has said it is likely that he will receive further recommendations concerning social distancing due to the coronavirus.
The Minister for Health said today that although he doesn't want to "overly speculate," large gatherings of people over the weekend will potentially lead to the implementation of stricter measures across the country.
"People are making a real conscious effort to social distance and that's very good, that's how we're going to beat this virus, that's going to slow down the transmission," he told Morning Ireland.
"On the flip side, we did over the course of this weekend see scenes of large gatherings. One in Glendalough might have been the one that most people are talking about.
"I'm very glad that the council stepped in there and said look, we can't properly social distance but we're shutting down the carpark. That's the kind of decisive action that needs to be taken."
Harris said that although he was thankful that the council took action, it is ultimately up to each individual person to ensure that they are adhering to social distancing rules.
"There needs to be two metres between you and other people," he said. "If you can't do that you shouldn't be operating."
Harris and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar are due to meet with the country's National Public Health Emergency Team tomorrow.
The Minister for Health said that he is expecting there to be an update on the recommendations currently in place, specifically for supermarkets and other public places.
"We won't be making decisions based on Twitter trends or political populism," he said.
"I don't want to overly speculate but I think what we all know is that the two metres needs to be abided by (...) perhaps greater guidance in relation to playgrounds, to public spaces, and to supermarkets too.
"Social distancing isn't just nice to do. It's the difference between saving lives and not."