Taoiseach urges Irish people to continue to observe Level 5 restrictions so we can “enjoy a meaningful Christmas”
“We must see this through.”
Taoiseach Micheál Martin has urged Irish people to continue to adhere to Level 5 restrictions to give ourselves the best chance to reopen parts of society and “enjoy a meaningful Christmas”.
Ireland is currently a little over halfway through a six-week lockdown imposed by the government at the end of last month to combat the escalation in Covid-19 cases throughout the country.
Since Level 5 restrictions were introduced nationwide on 22 October, the number of cases of Covid-19 have gradually decreased and Ireland’s 14-day incidence rate (number of cases per 100,000 people), currently 145, is now the second lowest in Europe behind Finland.
Martin has previously rejected the notion that restrictions may be lifted earlier than the scheduled date of 1 December and in a statement on Friday, he paid tribute to the “great national effort” to suppress Covid-19 and urged Irish people to continue to adhere to the restrictions for the next three weeks.
“The data that we are seeing suggests that the effort is working, and that we are one of the leaders in Europe in terms of our progress in pushing back the virus,” Martin said.
“However, we cannot take anything for granted and we must continue to adhere to the restrictions for the next three weeks.”
“We must see this through,” Martin added.
“By continuing to drive down the incidence of the disease, we give ourselves the best chance to reopen parts of our society and to enjoy a meaningful Christmas.
“The fact that we have been able to make progress at Level 5, while also keeping our schools and construction open, is testament to the tremendous efforts of the individuals involved in those sectors and the sacrifice and discipline of everyone else.”
Martin highlighted the contribution of frontline workers, who he said were “an inspiration in terms of their courage and commitment” and singled out young people for the “successful suppression of the virus among their age groups”.
“They are missing out on a lot, but their time will come and they should take great pride in the effort they are making to protect the more vulnerable in our society,” Martin said.
“I am acutely conscious of how difficult the current restrictions are for everyone, and the very heavy price being paid by many sectors of our economy,” Martin concluded.
“However, I also know that the effort we are making now, together as a nation, is saving lives and will allow us to reopen our society and our economy safely and sustainably into the future.”