Lockdown will be 'severe' on people, says Taoiseach 

Lockdown will be 'severe' on people, says Taoiseach 

The Taoiseach has said the new six-week lockdown will be "severe" on people and businesses. PIC JULIEN BEHAL Photography.

The Taoiseach has said the new six-week lockdown will be "severe" on people and businesses.

Micheál Martin said an important objective of the lockdown was to allow people to return to their daily routines in December.

He called on the public to work together and observe the regulations in the hope that some businesses could return before Christmas.

He said: "The six-week lockdown is very severe on many people, on many businesses. The virus is on the rise across Europe.

"The Government has continued to allocate the resources necessary to the health service, both in terms of building up testing and tracing capacity and also hospital capacity.

"I believe that if we all work together we can achieve this."

He added: "We're determined that for the month of December in particular, people will get an opportunity to engage in their daily routines, in particular certain employments can come back into play ahead of that crucial period.

"That is an important objective. But it can only be achieved if we all work together."

Mr Martin also appeared to rule out the introduction of curfews as an additional lockdown measure, as has been done in places like France.

He said: "I'm not really the curfew type. I'm not being flippant. I don't see that. Other countries are doing things differently.

"Before the curfew, they will be having activities that we won't be having. I'm not of a mind to embrace that concept as of now. But I'm always listening to the latest research as well."

While the Government has introduced tough new fines for those who fail to comply with the guidelines, he suggested they would be used sparingly, and target repeat offenders.

He said: "We don't want to be fining anybody. This is about a culture of compliance.

"The Gardai have done very well in terms of engaging with the public. That's a last resort as Justice Minister Helen McEntee said."

He added: "The Gardai are only interested in compliance. Nonetheless, some do need to know that you can't just, on a serial basis, keep on breaking the regulations."

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