Micheál Martin: House parties an issue in rising number of Covid-19 cases

Micheál Martin: House parties an issue in rising number of Covid-19 cases
Picture:Gareth Chaney/Collins

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has warned that house parties are an issue in the rising number of Covid-19 cases in Ireland.

Mr Martin told the Dáil that during a conversation with acting chief medical officer Dr Ronan Glynn, concerns were raised about the increase of coronavirus cases in recent weeks.

He said that congregated indoor settings where up to 30 or 40 people gather in a house are a concern.

The Taoiseach also said that following the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) meeting on Tuesday, the Government will meet on Wednesday to consider its advice and discuss international travel.

The Government is expected to agree on a "green list" of countries where people can travel to.

Mr Martin said that while there has been "a lot of commentary" around the number of American tourists arriving in Ireland, information from the Department of Transport suggests that the numbers are quite low.

He said: "From the outset of the pandemic, travel has never been banned officially.

"I've been speaking to the chief medical officer, there are concerns in terms of increases in the number of Covid cases over the last fortnight.

"Congregated indoor settings is presenting a problem - 30 or 40 people in the house, for example at house parties, is an issue.

"We have to be very strong in terms of travel as well in terms of our messaging around travel, and with a view to keeping the rate down.

"That would be our objective in the coming weeks, with the overarching consideration being getting the schools open and getting the non-Covid strand of medicine opened up and free up our hospital capacity to do that."

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