Digital Desk Staff
The World Health Organisation says there could be a fourth wave of Covid-19 in Ireland if people socialise too much.
As the Irish Examiner reports, the warning comes after large crowds gathered in Dublin, Cork and Galway last weekend, with fears of a repeat this Bank Holiday Weekend.
The chief medical officer (CMO) said the scenes in Dublin city centre last weekend were like something from before an All-Ireland Final.
Dr Tony Holohan expressed his shock at the large crowds who gathered in the South William Street area on Saturday.
Dr David Nabarro, special envoy on Covid-19 for the World Health Organization (WHO), says the disease can spread in outdoor settings.
He says while the risks are much lower if you're outdoors, but if you're close to somebody "who's got a lot of virus," they can still pass it on to you.
"When people mix and are up close with each other, and perhaps not protecting themselves with face masks and so on, that's when the virus really starts moving around, and it's often followed with a big surge in cases.
"And so, despite the fact that restrictions are being lifted, I'll say to people in Ireland, everywhere, because the virus has not gone away, continue to respect it.”
Dr Nabarro added that people should not be ashamed if they chose to continue wearing face masks in public settings.
He says: “I would advocate that I think the people who continue to wear masks, they're the ones who are showing the example and will help to prevent a major pause wave in Ireland.”
Meanwhile, the Taoiseach says the state needs to provide better facilities for people to socialise outdoors.
Micheál Martin says we need to be "creative" in cities and towns and work with councils to redesign streets.
In global news, the world's wealthiest nations have agreed to work together to prevent future health risks by spotting early warning signs from animals and the environment.
G7 health ministers, who are meeting today in England, say their governments will share information on issues like antibiotic resistance and ocean plastics.
However they have not agreed to demands to unlock Covid vaccine patents, which would allow jabs to be made more cheaply.