Simon Harris says the pressure of his job has been "on a different level" since Covid-19 5 months ago

Simon Harris says the pressure of his job has been "on a different level" since Covid-19

Harris also spoke about his hopes for the beginning of Phase 2.

Simon Harris has described the pressures of his job during Covid-19 as being "on a different level" during the Covid-19 emergency.

Speaking to Doireann and Eoghan on RTÉ's 2FM on Monday, he spoke about how demanding his job as Minister for Health since the pandemic began to make an impact in Ireland.

"Look, I am in a busy and challenging job and it is tough and it is challenging but I enjoy it and do it to the best of my ability but it has been so intense these last few weeks and months," Harris said.

"You know I thought being the health minister in Ireland was intense at the best of times, it has just been on a different level.”

He also said that he is hopeful that if Phase 1 goes accordingly and we get to Phase 2 as expected (due to be implemented on 8 June), that the distance limit people are permitted to travel from their home will be extended to 20 kilometres, as is outlined in the government roadmap.

"Now if we get to Phase 2, I am really hopeful that we do, which is two weeks away today on 8 June, we are hoping that five kilometres would increase to 20 kilometres," Harris added.

"The encouraging thing about the path we are now on is that we hope to be making a bit of progress every couple of weeks where we hope to move onto the next phase.

"So, that five kilometres will hopefully go to 20 kilometres at the start of June."

Harris was responding to a question about people looking to drive outside of their restricted area in practice for their driving test.

As it stands, Harris said, this is not an option.

If all goes to plan, Phase 2 will also allow visits to other households (for up to four people for a short period of time), as well as the opening of small retail outlets.

You can listen to the conversation in full here.