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Simon Coveney: Reopening plans will change if covid cases surge

If there is a spike in Covid cases following the minor easing of restrictions, then the government will change its plans, Fine Gael Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney has warned.

According to Coveney, NPHET are the group who monitor the case data, and they had previously indicated that the government should only be considering a “low to moderate” easing of restrictions.

“If the numbers spike, we will change the plan,” said Coveney on RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland, adding that the general public need to “work with us on this journey.”

The minister said that he hoped certain changes by the cabinet this week would serve as a “light at the end of the tunnel” and a road out of the restrictions, but said that “we’re not out of the woods, but we’re part way there.”

Minister Coveney said that the government recognised that people were frustrated, but that the public had to accept public health measures. He asserted that “we don’t have to go back [to restrictions] again” and that the government has to “keep a lid on the virus.”

The recommendations on the easing of restrictions from NPHET were presented to the government cabinet yesterday morning, and Minister Coveney said that it was likely to pass with few if any changes.

“I think NPHET got it right here,” he said.

“The Government decision will be made on the back of well thought-out and clear public health advice.”

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