Thursday, October 14, 2021

Vivienne Clarke

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald has called on the Government to do everything they could to provide clarity to sectors expected to reopen on October 22nd.

“All of us need to use our cop on”, she told RTÉ radio’s News at One.

The experts had consistently said that there was a need for caution and not for panic, she said, and any decision on the easing of restrictions on October 22nd had to be mindful of public health advice.

At the core of the problem was public health provision and the real dilemma, she said, was that the Government would not resource the health service.

Any decision on October 22nd would have to be made based on public health advice, but commitments had been made to sectors that had been closed for almost two years, she added.

“All of these issues will have to be taken in the round.”

Ms McDonald urged the Government to do everything they could to provide clarity “for these people who will be sweating it out this weekend”.

People needed to return to work, she said.

‘Knife edge’

A key public health adviser to the Government has said the coronavirus situation in Ireland is “on a knife edge” amid rising infections and hospital admissions.

Epidemiologist Professor Philip Nolan said the virus was spreading “subtly and slowly” through the vaccinated population, while he also called on the 300,000 people in the Republic who are not yet vaccinated to do so.

His comments come amid increasing doubt within the Government on plans to remove almost all restrictions in just over a week’s time.

The Cabinet is due to evaluate advice from public health officials next week to decide if remaining restrictions can be eased on October 22nd as planned.

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