Republic of Ireland news

Covid restrictions mostly lifted by Christmas, says Republic's health minister

 HSE chief executive Paul Reid said 86% of adults in the Republic are fully vaccinated, while 88,000 jabs have been given to 12 to 15-year-olds
Dominic McGrath, PA

All parts of the economy will be open by the end of the year, the Republic's health minister has indicated.

Speaking in Dublin today, Stephen Donnelly said the current plan is to continue with the next phase of reopening and the easing of Covid-19 restrictions.

Earlier, HSE chief executive Paul Reid said that 86% of adults in the Republic are fully vaccinated, while 88,000 jabs have been given to 12 to 15-year-olds.

The National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) is meeting tomorrow to consider the next steps in the response to the pandemic, with the Cabinet’s Covid-19 sub-committee set to meet on Friday.

Mr Donnelly said he hopes that all sectors will be open by Christmas.

“What we want to do is we want to provide real certainty for people. It’s been a brutal year and a half; most of society and most of the economy is open, but we’re very aware that there are still parts that aren’t that have suffered hugely, and what we want to do is to help them open as quickly as possible,” he told reporters.

“Specific dates are something that we would be looking to Nphet for and we’ll be discussing at Cabinet.”

He indicated it is likely that some public health measures, such as wearing face masks in high-risk places and environments, will continue to be needed.

There are currently 307 Covid-19 patients in tje Republic of Ireland, with 60 people in intensive care.

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