No visits to extended family or friends for St Patrick's Day likely

No visits to extended family or friends for St Patrick's Day likely

18/09/2020.

THE Deputy Chief Medical Officer at the Department of Health has said current indications suggest visits to other households in mid-March will not be safe.

Dr Ronan Glynn was speaking in response to a question at the Covid-19 press briefing tonight regarding the likelihood of household visits being permitted for St Patrick’s Day.

“I know people have really struggled with not seeing their extended family but no, I have to say, unfortunately at this point, I don’t see a scenario where anything other than the cautious, phased reopening of schools will be possible in March.

“We’ve got to get that right. We’ve got to get our health services back up and running.

“It’s difficult to see beyond that at this point,” he said.

In relation to household visits in Easter, Dr Glynn said it is “too early to talk about Easter at this point”.

“We have visual modelling data from Professor Nolan which suggests if we keep going the way we’re going, we’ll be in a relatively good position by St Patrick’s Day, by the middle of March, but even that in itself isn’t where we need to end up in an ideal situation.

“Really for now we need to try to get schools back open whilst continuing to suppress the virus,” he continued.

Professor Philip Nolan, Chair of the NPHET Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group, added that he would be “very cautious” of putting the progress Ireland has made in the last 12 weeks “at any kind of risk”.

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