“No one in Ireland has died of Covid in the last 14 days,” Leo Varadkar said today.
TÁNAISTE LEO VARADKAR has said he cannot guarantee that ‘wet’ pubs will be able to open this month, but added when a date is given to publicans it must give certainty to businesses.
Speaking in Dublin this morning, Varadkar said publicans were understandably frustrated having been previously given dates for reopening that did not come to fruition.
When the government decides on a reopening date, Varadkar said it should be a date that “actually happens”.
The Tánaiste said the government’s new roadmap – due to be published on 14 September – will have to be able to respond to the “peaks and troughs” of the virus in the months ahead.
The plan will deal with what action the government will take when the cases rise, when they fall, and what should be done in different regions and different sectors in various scenarios.
The roadmap won’t be “straightforward” but it will give people “certainty and a horizon they can plan against”, he said.
The Tánaiste also confirmed that the country’s travel Green List will not be updated prior to the publication of the new plan, something the Taoiseach also said last week.
The EU is rolling out a new approach to travel which will be based on a colour-coded map produced by the ECDC.
This will be “part of our considerations”, said Varadkar.
Much like pubs reopening, Ireland is an outlier in Europe when it comes to international travel.
On 13 May, the European Commission presented guidelines and recommendations to help Member States gradually lift travel restrictions, however, the government did not sign up to the measures.
Varadkar reiterated a point he made last week, that people should not be obsessing about the daily case numbers that are reported on each day.
“No one in Ireland has died of Covid in the last 14 days,” said Varadkar, adding that that has to be borne in mind.
“We are doing quite well,” he said.
He said the number of people in hospital and ICU is still a fraction of what it was at the height of the pandemic.
Countries that do a lot of testing such as Ireland are going to see more cases than countries that are doing less testing and seeing fewer cases, said the Tánaiste.
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He said the positivity rate is also an important metric.
“The number of people who test positive has been very stable for weeks – 1.2%-1.5% – it is not going up and that needs to be borne in mind,” he said.
With reporting by Órla Ryan