Cabinet sub-committee meets to discuss Covid-19 recommendations

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Any decisions on restrictions will be signed off at a full Cabinet meeting tomorrow.

THE CABINET COVID-19 sub-committee is meeting this evening to discuss the potential easing of some Covid-19 restrictions. 

The National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) met this morning to discuss its recommendations to government. 

The Cabinet sub-committee is now considering these recommendations after hearing presentations from the HSE, NPHET and the high-level vaccine task force. 

A full Cabinet meeting will take place tomorrow at 1pm with an address anticipated from the Taoiseach tomorrow evening, likely at around 6pm. 

Among the measures under consideration are an easing of the 5km limit, permissions on outdoor sports and the possibility of larger groups meeting outdoors. 

It is believed that not all the measures will kick in on the same date, with the government instead opting for phased basis approach.

In attendance at the ongoing Cabinet sub-committee meeting is the deputy chief medical officer, the Taoiseach, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar, Transport Minister Eamon Ryan as well as a select number of ministers and top level senior servants. 

While the decision on what restrictions will be eased will be largely made at this meeting, a full Cabinet meeting is needed to rubber stamp the decisions tomorrow.

The Taoiseach Micheál Martin has already flagged well in advance what is being considered.

He came under pressure last week from his own parliamentary party to scrap the 5km travel limit in its entirety, with some branding it “ridiculous”.

There will be a big emphasis on outdoor activities, with the opening up of outdoor sports for children expected to be given the green light.

It’s expected guidance will also allow for outdoor sports for all, where social distancing is possible, such as golf, tennis, and fishing.

It is understood that the government will consider allowing more households to meet outside – with sources stating that they are acutely aware of peoples’ mental health at this point, with some acknowledging that such meet ups are already happening.

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Ministers will also discuss the possibility of a return to click and collect, but the full reopening of retail is not on the cards for now. 

Reopening the construction sector is also up for discussion.

– Additional reporting by Christina Finn.

Members of the public on the seafront in Clontarf, Dublin today.

Members of the public on the seafront in Clontarf, Dublin today.

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