Ireland to abandon phases in favour of colour-coded response to Covid-19 restrictions
Red, orange, yellow and blue.
Ireland is considering moving away from the current phased approach of reopening society and the economy to a new colour-coded system.
Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly told Morning Ireland on RTÉ Radio 1 that the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) has been discussing the move as part of Ireland's medium term pandemic plan.
He said the phases were about providing the public with time frames, but the colour codes are a warning system for where the country is at "on any given day".
"So the phases is an idea where you're moving through a time period," he said.
"When the original road map came in there was a timeline attached to it to say these are the conditions we'll deal with now."
He added: "This is different to that, this says no matter what day of the week it is, no matter what week it is, where are we at now."
The system would consist of red, orange, yellow and blue statuses which would be representative of the level of threat from Covid-19. Blue would represent a situation where a vaccine or effective treatment would be in place to suppress the virus, while red would be similar to what Auckland is doing right now.
The Cabinet met on Tuesday evening, where it's believed they discussed the changes and work will continue on the plan next week.
In the same interview, Donnelly also defended the lockdown measures implemented on Laois, Kildare and Offaly last Friday.
He said that public health doctors believed if they hadn't acted quickly, the virus would have gotten into the community and eventually spread to nursing homes.
Donnelly also said it was "entirely possible" the measures implemented in the three counties could be introduced again at a later date.