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08th Feb 2021

Taoiseach Micheál Martin regrets easing restrictions around Christmas

Cassie Stokes

Micheál Martin finally admits they made the wrong choice.

It’s no secret that easing the restrictions for Christmas was not the smartest move by the government. Case numbers went up drastically and then a 12 week lockdown had to be put in place.  The start of 2021 has been an interesting one to say the least.

The government has been asked time and time again over the last month if they regret making the call to ease restrictions before Christmas and they haven’t given a clear answer until now.

Micheál Martin has finally admitted that he regrets easing Covid-19 restrictions in the run-up to Christmas. He told the Mail on Sunday that they weld have done things differently had they known.

Health officials have said the reopening of pubs and restaurants in December before Christmas was a huge factor in the spike in case numbers and deaths in January.

Of course, looking back and knowing all the suffering and pain the choice to reopen Ireland in December caused, it’s easy to say they would have done things differently. But the Taoiseach has said they had no idea things would get as bad as they did, it wasn’t even a “worse case scenario”.

When asked if he regretted opening the country for Christmas Micheál said: “Yes, I do.” He also said that he worries “every day in terms of the impact [of coronavirus] on hospitals”.

The cases are slowly going down now and close contact testing has started once again so things are looking up but this isn’t a time to let down your guard according to Chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan.

Tony also stresses how important it is to go to your GP immediately when you start to feel unwell. “We know that people who feel unwell typically avoid calling their GP over the weekend, and wait to see if they improve. You should no longer do that – you must phone your GP at the first sign of anything like Covid-19 symptoms.”

“Similarly, do not leave your house or go to work if you have any cold or flu like symptoms at all. Breaking these habits will limit Covid-19’s opportunity to spread from person to person.”