Full lockdown not the way to go despite concerns, insists Government

Galway Daily news Taoiseach Varadkar meeting with local businesses in Ballinasloe visit

Minister Simon Harris has said that the Government still has no plans to introduce stricter measures to ensure that social distancing is observed.

He said that the government will act only on the advice of the Chief Medical Officer, and will not be swayed by public opinion on social media.

Speaking to Bryan Dobson on Morning Ireland today, the Minister for Health called once again for people to abide by advice on social distancing, while in public.

He said: “To be very clear to everybody in Ireland today: you need to abide by the social distancing. That means there should be 2 metres between you and other people.”

Simon Harris also admitted that there are some places in which social distancing is not possible – so better guidance in relation to public playgrounds and public spaces ‘could be useful’.

The Health Minister then accompanied the Taoiseach to ALONE where Leo Varadkar echoed his colleagues views on a lockdown.

He said he took on board the advice of the WHO’s Chief Executive Director Dr Mike Ryan in on strict lockdowns, such as those currently in place in Spain, Italy and France.

Leo Varadkar said that Dr Mike Ryan suggested that “some countries are focusing a bit too much on lockdown and if you have a very sharp lockdown, and you reverse it, the virus might come roaring back”.

However, some commentators noticed that even during the government’s press briefing this morning, 2 metre social distancing wasn’t being observed – despite the best efforts of the journalists, workers and TDs present to avoid each other.

Meanwhile Sinn Fein continues to favour a much stronger approach, with Mary Lou McDonald saying today: “It is now necessary to shutdown everything except essential services. Delay costs lives.”