Taoiseach says he does not anticipate lockdowns over Christmas this year 2 months ago

Taoiseach says he does not anticipate lockdowns over Christmas this year

Martin joked, however, that the 12 pubs of Christmas might have to be reduced to just one this year.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said he does not anticipate lockdowns being re-introduced over the Christmas period.

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The Taoiseach made the comments as he appeared on Today's FM's Dermot and Dave show where he took part in the programme's 'Ask Me Anything' segment.

During the interview, Martin was quizzed over NPHET's meeting this Thursday where it is set to consider a possible return to a full work-from-home policy amidst rising Covid-19 figures.

The Taoiseach was asked if Ireland is going to see a change from the restrictions in place now over the Christmas period.

In response, Martin said that the reopening of society combined with the more transmissible Delta variant of the virus is the cause of the "very high case numbers", which he called "worrying" and "concerning".

However, he added that Ireland is in a "much different position" than it was last year on account of the rollout of vaccines, stating: "If we didn't have vaccination now, we would be in lockdown."

"I don't see a dramatic going back or turning to where we were," he told the show.

Asked then if the country could see lockdowns over the festive season, he responded: "I don't see Christmas lockdowns, no.

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"But we may have to imaginatively look at how we behave and how we manage events and so on."

When the hosts jokingly asked if 12 pubs of Christmas events should be reduced to nine, the Taoiseach replied laughing: "One pub, one setting."

Meanwhile, earlier on Thursday, Health Minister Stephen Donnelly shared his view regarding work Christmas parties this year, stating that they can go ahead so long as attendees have already cut their social contacts.

"So, what the Government is asking, what public health advice is, is to reduce your social contacts," said Donnelly.

"That doesn't mean not going to see Ronaldo tonight... It doesn't mean not having your Christmas party.

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"What it means in the round when you look at everything your doing, do the things that are most important to you and the more discretionary ones, just for now, just cut them out.

"For some people, the Christmas party might be the highlight of their year and for them, by all means go.

"For other people who are doing a lot of other things, they don't really care about the Christmas party, that might be something that they choose not to do."

Main image via Julien Behal Photography / RollingNews.ie

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