#Covid-19: Simon Harris says that current restrictions could continue for a "few more weeks"
Simon Harris, the Minister for Health, has said it is likely that current restrictions enforced in Ireland will continue beyond Easter Sunday.
An official statement is expected tomorrow after another meeting with the National Public Health Emergency Team but at present, he expects things to continue in this manner for "a period of weeks".
"We're talking about a few more weeks, weeks rather than months I hope".
"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".
Speaking to PJ and Jim on Classic Hits this morning, Mr Harris said that it's about showing Irish people what the journey towards beating the Covid-19 virus looks like.
Although there may be no "magic point" at which the virus is 100 percent gone, people will be able to see each other.
He said that if we keep at the current level of measures for another couple of weeks, it's about seeing where that brings us.
He was also keen to warn people that "the virus is probably going to be here for a very long time" but it's about ensuring that our health service can keep it under control.
The current measures, introduced on March 27, are as follows:
- Travel to and from work for the purposes of work only when the work is an essential service that cannot be done from home
- To shop for groceries or collect food/medicine
- Vital family reasons
- Visiting those who require care
- Brief individual physical exercise within two kilometres of the home while adhering to strict two-metre social distancing measures - parents can bring children but must adhere to social distancing
- Farming services
Mr Harris echoed concerns previously voiced by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Chief Medical Officer, Tony Holohan, asking people to stay at home this weekend.
Easter weekend is traditionally a busy time but this year, everyone is asked to remain at home, avoiding travel including to/from holiday homes and caravan parks.
The Minister for Health also appeared on Ireland AM this morning, speaking of the measures and how it's a case of not making any rash decisions at this point.
Health Minister Simon Harris said in terms of lifting the ongoing restrictions we are "not going to take our foot off the pedal too early" However Minister Harris also told Ireland AM we are not in the place of more restrictions.
— Ireland AM (@IrelandAMVMTV) April 9, 2020