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15th Dec 2021

NPHET expected to recommend tightening of restrictions – Varadkar

Hugh Carr

nphet leo varadkar restrictions

Restrictions around social mixing are expected.

The National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) are expected to recommend tighter restrictions to combat rising Covid cases.

Leo Varadkar spoke about the possibility of future restrictions on The Pat Kenny Show on Newstalk.

“I would expect more recommendations around the management of close contacts, recommendations to decrease the amount of social mixing, and recommendations around international travel,” the Tánaiste said.

Varadkar said that he hoped that businesses would not be required to close due to restrictions, but that they would do so if necessary.

“If it is the case restrictions are required to protect life and public health then that’s what we will do,” he said.

Varadkar had met with NPHET on Wednesday (15 December) ahead of their regular meeting on Thursday.

Varadkar shared his concern about the potential impact of the Omicron variant on rising case numbers in the country.

“We’re winning the battle against the Delta, we’re doing better than the most optimistic models,” he said.

“But there is a new variant in the world and that is likely to cause an additional wave of infection in the next couple of weeks.”

Following the interview, RTÉ reported that restrictions on international travel were not set to be announced.

“In relation to international travel, NPHET is not expected to recommend a tightening of rules, given that the Omicron variant is already here and growing,” said Fergal Bowers.

“If anything, an ending of rules could be recommended in this area.”

Nearly 15% of all cases in the country are understood to be Omicron.

“Results today suggest that approximately 14% of our cases are due to the Omicron variant,” Holohan said.

“In line with the experience of many other countries, we can expect this proportion to rise rapidly over the coming days.”

“The goal now is to limit the spread of Covid-19 through our tried and tested preventive measures.”

He also expressed his concern about the implications of international travel last week in a meeting with NPHET.

3,877 cases of the virus were confirmed in Ireland on Tuesday (14 December).

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