"It's not Groundhog Day" – Taoiseach takes exception to reopening remark 1 month ago

"It's not Groundhog Day" – Taoiseach takes exception to reopening remark

"I don't accept that presentation."

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has firmly rejected the notion that Ireland is in a 'Groundhog Day' situation as Friday's proposed full reopening of the country hangs in the balance.

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Following a meeting of the National Public Health and Emergency Team on Monday, the Government will take the latest public health advice into consideration before making a formal announcement on Tuesday.

It is expected that some restrictions will remain in place at the very least, including the use of face coverings and antigen testing.

Speaking to reporters on Monday afternoon following the opening of a new €140 million road on the N4, the Taoiseach cut a determined figure.

Put to him that there is a lot of "anger and frustration" on the ground amongst business owners who have cited a lack of clarity and compared the current doubts over reopening as some sort of Groundhog Day scenario, the Taoiseach moved quickly to dispel such a reference.

"Well, it's not Groundhog Day," he began.

"That's my point. It's not Groundhog Day and I don't accept that presentation that has been made because of the fact that the economy has rebounded very significantly and in a very fast way because of the reopening of society that has occurred over the last number of months and that has to be acknowledged.

"But, Covid has many twists and turns. We're witnessing another now at this point in time which will give us cause for reflection."

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The Taoiseach also underlined his support for antigen testing, which has proved a fresh subject of debate.

On Monday, Professor of Immunovirology at University College Cork Liam Fanning called for 10 antigen tests per week to be delivered to Irish families this winter.

"Well, I'm a strong believer in antigen testing," the Taoiseach said on Monday.

"Our public health officials have a more moderated perspective on the value of antigen testing.

"Some sectors have rolled out antigen testing and that's something that the government will be considering as well over the next 24 hours."

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