Stephen Donnelly maintains Government didn't go against NPHET's advice
This is despite the fact that Ireland reopened hospitality before Christmas when NPHET had advised them not to.
Stephen Donnelly maintains that the Irish Government didn't go against NPHET's advice, despite reopening large parts of the hospitality sector at Christmas when NPHET had advised them not to.
In an interview with Virgin Media, the Minister for Health said that the Government "has been following public health advice from day one".
When questioned and told that it did go against public health advice, Donnelly responded by saying "it didn't".
Virgin Media's Richard Chambers then said: "If NPHET said don't open hospitality and allow household visits at same time - how is that following advice?"
He said that while NPHET advised to keep pubs closed and allow gatherings in houses, the Government chose to allow the reopening of pubs and not allow gatherings in houses. He said that it is impossible to know what would have happened if NPHET's advice was followed.
Donnelly said: "To be honest, there's no way of knowing which of those would have led to more or less spread.
"In the main areas... the Government and NPHET, and the CMO have been very closely aligned and we will remain so."
Minister: "The Govt has been following public health advice from day one..."
"...but it went against public health advice.."
Minister: "...no it didn't."
"If NPHET said don't open hospitality and allow household visits at same time - how is that following advice?"#COVID19 pic.twitter.com/MIcJJPkLhl
— Richard Chambers (@newschambers) January 11, 2021
Monday evening saw Ireland record 4,929 new cases of Covid-19, as well as eight additional deaths.