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20th Jan 2022

Restrictions will be eased sooner than expected, Taoiseach confirms

Kat O'Connor

We finally have some good news.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has confirmed Covid-19 restrictions will be lifted sooner than expected.

It’ll come as a major relief for the country after weeks of strict measures.

He believes the country is now over the worst of the Omicron wave of Covid-19. Hospitalisations and ICU numbers remain stable, despite the high case figures.

He revealed the Government will consider lifting restrictions in a meeting this week.

“The Government will meet tomorrow. After that, I intend to give a clear statement about what lies ahead in the short term and medium term.

“The public health perspective is now that there has to be a rationale for measures,” he told Morning Ireland.

He reassured the public that the “situation is positive”.

“The combination of the booster campaign and the fact that Omicron isn’t as virulent as Delta and other waves has meant the impact on people has been much less. We can be positive.

“I thank the people of Ireland for how they have adapted so that we were able to control Omicron. I think we are entering a new phase. We intend now to live with Covid over the next while because it isn’t going away.

“I think we can look forward to an earlier lifting of restrictions than we might have anticipated.”

Earlier this week, Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan said things are looking hopeful.

“The numbers in ICU have steadied. It looks like it’s going to give us the chance to start lifting restrictions quickly, in my mind very widely.”

The Taoiseach will address the country on Friday with the latest updates.