Ronan Glynn says messaging in new government Covid plan “is very clear for people, particularly in Dublin”
“Quite simply: Now is not the time for wet bars to open in Dublin.”
Acting Chief Medical Officer Ronan Glynn has said that "the messaging is very clear" in the government’s new plan to live with Covid-19.
It was felt in some quarters that there was a lack of clarity in the five-level response plan published on Tuesday, particularly in relation to Dublin, after special measures were announced following a recent spike in Covid-19 cases in the capital.
Dublin, along with the rest of the country, is currently on a Level 2 status, but special measures, including specific guidance on social gatherings and a further delay in the reopening of pubs which do not serve food, will apply until further notice.
The Acting Chief Medical Officer addressed the situation in Dublin when speaking at the Global Ireland 2020 Summit on Wednesday.
Glynn said that the timing of the publication of the government plan was “unfortunate” given the rise in cases in Dublin and the country as a whole recently, but said that “the reality is that it (Covid-19) does things that you can’t plan for on a given day”.
Addressing concerns about the messaging accompanying the publication of the plan, Glynn said: “On the other hand, you know, to my mind the messaging is very clear for people, particularly in Dublin, and I don’t want the very simple messages to get lost.
“Quite simply: We don’t want you to mix with any more than one other household.
"Quite simply: Now is not the time for wet bars to open in Dublin.
“And equally, if possible, and we’re asking people - this is the nuance, this is the proportionality - we’re asking people, if possible, to avoid travel outside of Dublin for the coming couple of weeks.
“They’re clear messages.”
The Acting Chief Medical Officer has said 'it's unfortunate' that the roadmap for dealing with Covid-19 was published at a time at which the trajectory of the virus is changing in this country | Follow live updates: https://t.co/4V7UP3doS8 pic.twitter.com/pRmnqMvZ04
— RTÉ News (@rtenews) September 16, 2020
In a letter to Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly, meanwhile, dated 11 September and published on the government website, Glynn wrote that “the epidemiological situation in Dublin differs considerably from that currently observed elsewhere in the country and it is of grave concern”.
While concern was also expressed for Kildare and Limerick, it was felt that the trajectory of the virus in those counties is stabilising.
Regarding Dublin, Glynn wrote that the most likely scenario, if no additional measures were taken, “is that approximately 300 cases a day will be reported in Dublin by the end of September”.
“While the number of cases in Dublin has been rising slowly and moderately, the population size of Dublin means that it represents a substantial disease reservoir that, if left unchecked, has the potential to transmit widely and quickly both within Dublin and to other areas of the country,” he wrote.