NPHET to make recommendations on restrictions

 

NPHET will make recommendations this afternoon on what restrictions can be eased after April 5th.

Senior Ministers will then meet to consider the issue before a full cabinet meeting tomorrow.

The country's senior public health officials meet this morning amid a rising number of new COVID cases to consider what restrictions can be eased after April 5th.

There's a wide understanding across government and NPHET that people need some hope after months of Level 5.

But the increasing transmission of the virus is likely to lead to a very cautious recommendation.

It's expected the 5km travel rule will be relaxed, outdoor meet-ups will be allowed between two households and sport may return for children.

There will be a big focus on outdoor activities - likely including golf and tennis - as NPHET fears any indoor gatherings or meet ups.

Construction has emerged as the big doubt.

Some Ministers believe it's vital the sector opens given the massive housing shortage, and Minister Darragh O'Brien will attend the cabinet sub-committee later to make the case.

But an increasingly cautious NPHET may ask the government to hold off even longer.

There's also differing views in government on how long this new stretch of restrictions should last.

The Taoiseach has suggested it will be until mid-May, while others want a review at the end of April taking into account vaccine roll-out progress.

A full decision won't be made until the cabinet meets tomorrow.