A Cork GP has said that a move to Level 3 restrictions ahead of the Christmas period would give people “some light at the end of the tunnel” at what can be a “very emotional and a very lonely time”.
Dr John Sheehan of Blackpool Bridge Surgery, who has referred five people for testing in the last week, said that Level 5 restrictions appear to be working but that it is important for people not to become complacent.
It comes as Taoiseach Micheál Martin confirmed earlier this week that Level 5 restrictions will remain in place for six weeks as scheduled despite case numbers dropping.
Speaking during a meeting of the Oireachtas health committee this week, Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly also said that the Government hopes to apply the “minimum additional restrictions” required to keep Covid-19 down after Level 5 measures are lifted.
He said, however, that this move could only happen if everyone follows the basics of infection control.
Dr Sheehan said that the move to Level 3 restrictions would “probably be the hope for people”.
“Christmas is a very emotional and a very lonely time so it is important that people would get a chance to see their families, particularly when they haven’t seen them for a long period of time.
“There is a danger that when people follow restrictions and follow all the guidelines, that they also need to see some light at the end of the tunnel, otherwise there's a danger of the restrictions starting to break down,” he said.
He said that with the case numbers dropping, a move to Level 3 “would be enough to keep the virus under control” if people continue to adhere to the relevant restrictions.