“It’s been a brutal year and a half.”
Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly believes Ireland’s COVID-19 restrictions will be lifted by Christmas.
He said the Government is hoping to lift any remaining restrictions as swiftly as possible.
“What we want to do is we want to provide real certainty. It’s been a brutal year and a half.”
“Most of society and most of the economy is open, but we’re very aware there are still parts that aren’t, that have suffered hugely, and what we want to do is help them open as quickly as possible,” he said.
When asked if he thought the current restrictions would likely be eased before Christmas, he said:
“Yes, I do. Obviously, specific dates are something that we would be looking to Nphet for, and we’ll be discussing at Cabinet, but, yes, certainly the view would be that we would be open this calendar year.”
Minister Donnelly said some things like mask-wearing in high-risk places may remain in place for some time.
He stressed: “It’s important we don’t let our guard down.”
Nphet is due to meet this week and Cabinet will discuss their recommendations on Friday.
The Government is due to reveal the roadmap for easing restrictions at the end of the month.