Level 5 restrictions expected to remain in place until Easter

Level 5 restrictions expected to remain in place until Easter

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said that schools and construction returning are priorities. Pic: Julien Behal Photography

It's now likely Level 5 Covid-19 restrictions will remain in place until at least Easter.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said that schools and construction returning are priorities.

Speaking on Morning Ireland he said: 

"Schools are the priority and construction - a phased return to construction, particularly housebuilding - because we have a social crisis in terms of the availability of housing for people across all strata of society.

"And, certainly, we are looking at a continuation of high levels of restrictions to the Easter period. That remains to be determined by Government; there will be further discussions."

Mr Martin said it "makes sense" with the coronavirus vaccines being rolled out that the Government remains "cautious and conservative" in its approach.

He added that the numbers of people in hospital with the virus needed to continue to reduce.

"We have to get those numbers down, we have to relieve those pressures, not just in the short term but for a sustained period, and into the long term we don't want that situation happening again in our hospitals," he said.

Non-essential foreign travel is also off the cards for the next number of months - possibly for the rest of the year, the Taoiseach has said.

He also said clarity will be provided on the Leaving Cert next week.

Meanwhile, if invited Mr Martin has said he will go to Washington for St Patrick's day. However, he said he expects that he will have to be vaccinated to do so.

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