Tánaiste rules out more restrictions on local visit

He's visiting businesses across the region today.

The Tánaiste says restrictions will not be reintroduced on businesses over the winter.

Rising Covid cases have led to concern about the potential of the impact of the virus over the winter period but Leo Varadkar says he doesn’t expect the current restrictions to increase.

He was speaking at the opening of the Ballybay Food Hub in Co Monaghan this morning.

“My expectation is we won’t have to go backwards in terms of restrictions. The restrictions that we have in place at the moment will more or less remain in place as they are until we get through the winter”, he said.

He highlighted England and Scotland as examples of countries who have lifted restrictions and managed rising case numbers.

“There are some indications from England and Scotland that have been open for a very long time now with very few restrictions that cases have actually peaked there as a result of both immunity from vaccines and immunity from infection.”

The number of people admitted to hospital over the past week has remained somewhat steady, however, HSE Chief Paul Reid yesterday warned that number is expected to rise over the coming weeks.

The Department of Health yesterday announced 2,605 new Covid cases, with the number of people in hospital with the virus hitting 500 this week.

Cavan General Hospital yesterday urged people to only attend the Emergency Department there if absolutely necessary due to the number of patients in the facility. Management appealed to people to contact their GP or a pharmacy first before attending the hospital.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has ruled out ‘circuit breaker’ lockdowns over the coming months, despite the rising number of cases.

The Tánaiste’s trip to the region today follows the visits of Health Minister Stephen Donnelly last Friday and Agriculture Minister Charlie McConalogue on Tuesday and comes ahead of the Taoiseach visiting Cavan next week.