Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said the Government will not hesitate in implementing restrictions in Dublin to curb the spread of Covid-19 in the region.
Speaking on An tSeachtain le Máirín Ní Ghadhra on RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta today, Mr Martin said the Government had learned from the Midlands lockdown in Kildare, Offaly and Laois, and would do what was necessary.
It comes as Ireland's acting chief medical officer has warned that infections will double in Dublin over the next two weeks if immediate action is not taken, as more than half of yesterday’s 211 new cases of the virus were confirmed there.
The Taoiseach said the Government would receive advice from the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) on Tuesday and a decision would follow.
“We’ll get advice from NPHET on Tuesday and we’ll have to weigh their advice... the most important thing about Dublin is how to get to grips with the virus to lower the number of cases and to put pressure on the virus," he said.
"We won’t be afraid to implement measures specifically in Dublin, if that’s the way forward... We did that in Kildare, Offaly and Laois.
“I know that some counties have low number of cases, and I understand that argument, that there are differences and so the same restrictions shouldn’t apply.”
Mr Martin said the Government’s new plan for living with Covid-19 over the next six months, set to be published next week, would assess restrictions on this county-by-country basis.
“The new plan has flexibility from that side – we can assess the situation from county to county," he said. "The very highest level of restrictions is to implement measures on a national basis.”
The Taoiseach added that the Government understood the need to be cognisant of the mental health impact of lockdown measures.
“We know from the research that the situation with the virus has had a terrible impact on physical and mental health, and we need to focus on that... so we’re considering people’s lifestyles, and we’re looking at that in terms of sport and culture, we have to make exceptions and tailored plans for those sectors in this country.”