NPHET member says easing of restrictions will need to be looked at "quite soon" 7 months ago

NPHET member says easing of restrictions will need to be looked at "quite soon"

The outlook looks "reasonably optimistic" if things remain stable.

Dr Mary Favier, a member of the National Public Health Emergency Team, has said that the easing of restrictions will need to be considered "quite soon".

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On Thursday, it was revealed that NPHET had not recommended any further restrictions be imposed in the wake of the latest Covid-19 wave of infections.

23,817 cases of Covid-19 were confirmed on Thursday with 941 patients in hospital, of which 90 are in ICU.

Speaking on Newstalk Breakfast on Friday morning, Dr Favier said if things stay stable over the next week or two, the outlook is "reasonably optimistic".

"So in terms of numbers of the peak we might not have seen it yet, but there is a feel that we may be just coming through this sort of short, sharp steep rise and coming through the other side of it," Dr Favier said.

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"We don't know, but it's caution for another week or two, but after that, if things stay as stable as they are, it looks reasonably optimistic."

When asked if she could see a scenario where restrictions might start to be eased, Dr Favier added: "I think inevitably that would need to be looked at and looked at quite soon.

"There's always a balance in healthcare with prioritising Covid care and then non-Covid care taking a back seat.

"And you always have to do that in terms of what's the most beneficial and what gives the largest health gain."

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It comes as the government said EU Digital Covid Certs (DCCs) will begin to be issued from Thursday night (6 January) for those who have received a booster vaccine.

New rules adopted by the European Commission in December state that DCCs will only be valid for nine months for travel within the EU after people complete their primary vaccination course.