Any easing of restrictions next month expected to be limited

 

The cabinet sub-committee on Covid will meet this afternoon to get advice on when parts of the economy might reopen in the coming months.

Schools and construction are the two areas likely to be given priority.

Many of the big decisions about how the next few months will unfold will be informed by what happens at this evening's meeting.

NPHET will feed advice to the government - recommendations that will be very hard to go against for Ministers after the mistakes made in December.

It's expected to advise on a school re-opening date that could be as early as March 1st.

That will happen on a phased basis starting with Leaving Certs and the younger classes in primary school, and will be reviewed every two weeks.

NPHET will also advise on whether construction can more fully open in March.

Some Ministers are skeptical this can happen given the high number of cases, but the Department of Housing has prepared significant evidence that the sites that have been open to date have operated safely, in order to support its case.

The advice from NPHET will feed into the revised living with COVID plan which will be published next Tuesday.

But any easing of restrictions in March and April are expected to be very limited.