Politics

No guarantee next phase of reopening will take place on October 22nd – Martin

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said he cannot give a guarantee that the next phase of reopening will commence as planned on October 22nd.

Speaking outside Government buildings, Mr Martin said “I can’t guarantee [that] right now,” when asked about the next reopening date. “No decisions have been made.”

“There was a meeting of senior officials this morning chaired by my Secretary General. The presentation by deputy chief medical officer was a serious one. The trajectory of the disease has taken a wrong turn. There has been a sudden increase in the last week of case numbers. I think we’re looking at over 2,000 case numbers today.

“They want to see more data. They want to analyse this a bit more. And so we’re going to reflect on it. And we will engage with the public health authorities and the HSE in the lead up to next week and we will make a final decision closer to that date.

“Suffice to say that it’s very important that the public at large realise that Covid has not gone away, that the variant is a dangerous one.

“Numbers are higher in hospitals than we would like them to be, over 400 now. They are having an impact on the hospital system.”

He urged those who have not gotten a vaccine to get one.

“This is an alert to all of us to knuckle down against this virus because it hasn’t gone away.”

The Taoiseach’s message comes on the same that 2,066 new cases of the virus were reported along with 26 deaths in the last seven days.

Deputy chief medical officer Dr Ronan Glynn earlier said “there are still just under 300,000 adults who have not come forward for vaccination and a further 70,000 people have received just one dose of a two-dose schedule”.

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