Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney has warned that if there is a spike in Covid cases following the easing of restrictions then the Government will change its plans.
The National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) had indicated that the proposed changes to restrictions were “low to moderate”, they were the people who monitor the data, he told Newstalk. “If the numbers spike, we will change the plan.”
The Minister said that the public had to “work with us on this journey”.
He hoped that the changes to be approved by Cabinet today represent “light at the end of the tunnel” and that they represented a pathway out of the restrictions.
The changes will take place over time, he cautioned and people would still need to be careful. “We’re not out of the woods, but we’re part way there.”
Mr Coveney said the Government recognised that they needed to keep people with them on that journey, he said. The Government recognised that people were frustrated, but they had to accept public health measures.
“Keep a lid on the virus.”
Later on RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland, Mr Coveney said that the Government wanted to make sure that this time “we don’t have to go back (to restrictions) again”.
The aim was to “keep a lid on the virus.”
The recommendations on the easing of restrictions from Nphet will be presented to the Cabinet this morning and Mr Coveney said he would be surprised if the Cabinet wanted to make any changes.
“I think Nphet got it right here, the Government decision will be made on the back of well thought-out and clear public health advice.”
Nphet had provided a road map for a way out of the woods which came on the back of the acceleration of the vaccination programme, he added.
“We have to give people as much certainty as we can.” Measures will be adapted as necessary and the situation will be closely monitored, he said.
“We’ve got to keep people with us, they are tired and frustrated and worried about their businesses.”
It was a case of getting the balance right, that was not easy, it was about making judgement calls using the public health advice, he said.