Leo Varadkar signals that office workers may be set to return by August
"The vast majority of adults will be fully vaccinated and the risk of them getting very sick from the virus will be very low.”
Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has said that office work may be allowed to resume by August as he is asking the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) to consider a phased return earlier than expected.
Varadkar said that pushing the date up from September to August would "make more sense".
“At the moment, we are planning a phased return to offices and workplaces from September,” the Tánaiste told the Irish Independent on Tuesday.
“Provided the vaccine programme continues to gather pace and the virus remains under control, I believe August makes more sense than September."
Varadkar added that the risk of transmission would be significantly lower at the time due to the success of Ireland's vaccination rollout programme.
“I think it makes sense to begin the return to the office before that, in August. By then, the vast majority of adults will be fully vaccinated and the risk of them getting very sick from the virus will be very low," he said.
Health Minister Stephen Donnelly confirmed on Sunday that the goal of vaccinating three million people with at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine was hit over the course of the bank holiday weekend.
In a video address about the vaccination rollout programme, he said: “We are hitting three million vaccine doses administered."
"We have had a huge response from everyone who is eligible for the vaccine so far," he continued.
“To those that aren’t yet eligible, let me promise you, let me assure you that we are doing everything we can to make sure that you get an option for a vaccine as soon as possible.”
Everyone from the ages of 40 to 69 can now register for their first dose via the online vaccination portal and Donnelly himself received his first dose of the vaccine on Saturday.
The Health Minister said that the government plans to get vaccines "out the doors" and administer them to other age cohorts "as soon as is possible."
For more information on how to register for a Covid-19 vaccine in Ireland using the new portal, check out JOE's handy guide here.