Taoiseach signals Covid-19 lockdown exit road map but cautions about its pace

Conor Ganly

Reporter:

Conor Ganly

varadkar covoid

Leo Varadkar speaking in the Dáil

The Taoiseach has said there will be a roadmap to a 'new normal' that will see restrictions eased only gradually and not in the rapid way in which the lockdown and other measures were imposed.

He put on record the approach in the Dáil where he also warned that an escalation could see further restrictions. 

"People want to know what things are going to go back to new normal. I can inform that all the plan is being developed to ease the lockdown - a road map to reopen Ireland, a roadmap to what will be the new normal.

"Unfortunately for those who like an immediate return to pre Covid world, the easement of the current restrictions will be slow and gradual. It will be done in a stepwise tired manner. If require continuous efforts to suppress control the virus therefore the lifting of restrictions will not necessarily mirror the manner in which they were escalated," he said. 

He also warned that restrictions could be be reintroduced "if it looks like the virus is going to surge back".

Mr Varadkar, who is a medical doctor, also identified five criteria for future decision making on restrictions: 

Progress of disease.

Healthcare capacity and resilience.

Testing and contact tracing capacity.

Ability to shield at risk groups.

Risk of secondary morbidity.

More than 20,000 people have been confirmed has having contracted the disease in Ireland. Over 1,000 people have died. The National Public Health Emergency Team has yet to recommend a lifting of restrictions.