Tony Holohan says "funerals, wakes and birthday parties" have caused "clusters" during pandemic 1 month ago

Tony Holohan says "funerals, wakes and birthday parties" have caused "clusters" during pandemic

He said people need to avoid "congregating together in large groups" when things begin to reopen.

Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan has said that "funerals, wakes and birthday parties" have caused "clusters" throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Dr Holohan added that the "key objective" over the coming weeks will be meeting people in smaller groups and "avoiding crowded areas" ahead of the easing of restrictions across Ireland this month.

“Throughout this pandemic we have seen outbreaks and clusters of disease as a result of social events such as funerals, wakes, and birthday parties," he said in a statement on Wednesday.

“As we look forward to the greater reopening of activities and services, our key objective now is to maintain our course in coming weeks and follow the public health advice in our daily activities.

“When you are planning to meet someone, remember that outdoors is safer for everybody. And when you meet up, stay at a 2 meter distance, keep to a small group and avoid crowded areas, this will minimise the risk of passing the virus from person to person, driving down the incidence rate and keeping our society open.

He added that staying "vigilant" will be crucial as personal services and other activities begin to reopen across the country over the summer.

From 10 May, Irish people will finally be able to return to hairdressers, inter-county travel, and click and collect retail services. However, Dr Holohan is warning people to remain cautious over the coming month.

"Unfortunately, we need to continue to stay vigilant to the infectious nature of this disease and avoid congregating together in large groups," he added.

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"We need all sectors of society to continue to encourage and support the public health messages and to help everyone to stay safe."

Some of the other restrictions being lifted from 10 May include:

  • A maximum of three households or six people from any number of households can meet up recreationally outdoors, including in private gardens.
  • Organised outdoor gatherings with a maximum attendance of 15 people.
  • Outdoor training for adults in pods of a maximum of 15 people can resume.
  • Click and collect, in-store by appointment only, and outdoor retail can recommence from 10 May.
  • Personal services by appointment reopen.
  • Reopening of galleries, museums, other cultural attractions.
  • Libraries to reopen for lending services.
  • Recommencement of in-person religious services with funerals and weddings allowed a maximum of 50 people.