Micheál Martin says 5 July indoor dining reopening is an "area of concern" due to Delta variant 1 month ago

Micheál Martin says 5 July indoor dining reopening is an "area of concern" due to Delta variant

"The Chief Medical Officer was in discussions with me yesterday - he is concerned about the Delta variant."

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said that the proposed 5 July indoor dining reopening is an "area of concern" due to an increase in cases stemming from the Delta variant.

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During Virgin Media's The Big Interview, the Taoiseach said that the easing of restrictions including indoor dining on 5 July, is an "area of concern".

"Well, first of all, so far, we've had a very successful and effective reopening," he said.

"What I've said consistently is that anything we open, we want to keep open, the Chief Medical Officer was in discussions with me yesterday - he is concerned about the Delta variant."

Martin added that country has reopened in a "cautious and progressive way" so far, which he wants to see continue.

When asked if the indoor dining restrictions will definitely be allowed to be relaxed on 5 July he said that he "can't speculate today" but it is an "area of concern" for the Government.

Martin added that he would like his legacy to be coming "though Covid in tact" and seeing the "economy restored and people back in work".

Despite case numbers and hospitalisations continuing to drop, the Delta variant has accounted for 20% of all Covid cases in the past week according to Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr Tony Holohan.

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Earlier this week, Martin once again stressed the need to be "vigilant" ahead of the 5 July reopening of indoor dining amid a "significant increase" in the Delta Covid-19 variant in Ireland.

The Taoiseach told reporters: "I think the situation has been positive certainly up to now in terms of the disease level, and it has been declining over the last number of weeks.

"And the most recent letter from NPHET confirms that, but of course, the share of the incidence is changing.

“There is a significant increase in the incidence of the Delta variant as a share of the overall incidence of the virus.

“We will obviously keep this under close monitoring, and we all need to be very vigilant.”

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