His comments come as the Government published a colour-coded roadmap for the country.
TAOISEACH MICHEÁL MARTIN has reiterated concerns around the growing number of cases in Dublin after 218 of the 357 new confirmed cases today were identified in the county.
Figures from the Department of Health this evening showed the highest number of confirmed cases since the beginning of summer at 357, with more than 60% of those in Dublin.
The Government today published a five-level, colour-coded roadmap which put the entire country on Level 2, and this evening Martin stopped short of ruling out a move to Level 3 for Dublin if daily figures do not begin to decline.
“I don’t know, that’s a matter for the CMO and he did indicate more modelling would need to be done but we are very worried about Dublin, and let’s be clear the numbers are going in the wrong direction,” he said in an interview with RTÉ’s Six One News programme.
“There is an absolute need for people to maintain social distancing and in particular to reduce their social contacts very significantly to try to avoid the spread.”
The Government moved to postpone the reopening of so-called ‘wet’ pubs in Dublin next Monday while pubs elsewhere in the country will reopen.
Residents in the county are also being advised not to travel outside of the county and where they must leave Dublin, they should meet with no more than one other household.
“Basically, the advice from NPHET is that we’re encouraging people not to travel, it’s an encouragement, it’s advice, there is not a regulation attached to it. But if possible they should avoid it.”
Asked if people in Dublin should not travel for staycations they might have booked weeks ago, he said: “I’m encouraging people not to travel, we’re encouraging people in line with the advice… We’re not varying in that advice, we’re not changing that advice.
“The advice is quite clear in terms of encouraging people, if possible, not to travel. People may have obligations, they may have a necessity to travel.”
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Acting CMO, Dr Ronan Glynn has been pleading with the public to double down on public health measures in recent days in a bid to curb the spread of the virus.
In response to the new cases announced this evening, he said: “In the first half of 2020, Ireland responded swiftly to a new and unpredictable pandemic. Our collective response suppressed the curve, saved lives and put us on a solid foundation to deal with Covid-19 going forward.
“The basic preventions against the spread of Covid-19 remain unchanged; wash your hands regularly, physically distance from others including friends and family, wear a face covering, know the symptoms and what to do if you experience them.”