Taoiseach says zero Covid approach would mean 'a permanent lockdown'

Taoiseach says zero Covid approach would mean 'a permanent lockdown'

Taoiseach Micheal Martin speaking after his visit to the HSE public vaccination centre being set up at City Hall, Cork City.

The Taoiseach Micheál Martin has reiterated his stance against adopting a zero Covid approach.

Asked by The Echo if he stands by the government's decision to continue living with Covid, Mr Martin described the alternative as “a permanent lockdown”.

He said with zero Covid, “as soon as Ireland comes out of it you’re back open to the potential of the disease coming back in again because of our geography.” 

Mr Martin continued: 

“We’re going for prolonged suppression of the virus now. We have vaccines now which will help to give us choices in time.” 

New Zealand is one of the countries that has adopted a zero Covid approach, and images and videos circulating on social media show such events as music festivals taking place there.

However, the Taoiseach has said that wouldn’t be possible in Ireland.

“The public health advice we’ve received has always been to the effect that zero Covid is a promise you could give but that you might never fulfill and we are not New Zealand in geography terms.

“That said, we have at different times been suppressing the virus.”

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