Tánaiste: Covid restrictions may be kept in place into February

Tánaiste: Covid restrictions may be kept in place into February

The Tánaiste said there is a strong case to say that the current restrictions should be left in place until those most at risk have been vaccinated, even into February.

TÁNAISTE Leo Varadkar has said further Covid-19 restrictions have not been ruled out.

On RTÉ's This Week, the Tánaiste said there is a strong case to say that the current restrictions should be left in place until those most at risk have been vaccinated, even into February.

He said additional restrictions cannot be ruled out but current measures were only introduced on December 30 and must be given time to work.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin said: "With Covid case numbers rising rapidly, it's more important than ever that each and every one of us does what is being asked of us.

"Stay home and strictly limit social contacts.

"We must do everything we can to protect the most vulnerable and those on the frontline."

Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan said the Government had given "clear directions" to the Department of Health and HSE that all non-essential medical electives or outpatient services be put on hold to ensure enough beds remain available for people with the virus.

He said around 1,500 beds, which became available over the Christmas period, should be kept free.

Mr Ryan told Newstalk's On the Record with Gavan Reilly show: "What we've said to the hospitals and the health system is to keep them free, don't fill them up again with procedures that could be put back for a later date because we could see we were facing into a real difficulty with this surge in numbers."

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