Phase 4 deferred as Covid reproductive rate rises


The Government has announced that gatherings in homes are to be limited to a maximum of 10 people from no more than four other households to help prevent a resurgence of the spread of Covid-19.

The Taoiseach announced this evening ( 15th July 2020) that Ireland will not progress to Phase 4 of the roadmap on reopening as planned next week.

Micheál Martin said that Cabinet has agreed that current health measures on Covid-19 should remain in place until 10 August.

Speaking at a press conference following a Cabinet meeting at Dublin Castle, Mr Martin said that the Government identified five key priority areas: 

  • Face coverings must be worn in all shops and retail settings and shopping centres. Retail staff will also be required to wear them unless there is a partition in place or there is a space of 2 metres between them and customers.
  • Pubs, bars, hotel bars, nightclubs and casinos will remain closed until 10 August. Pubs currently serving food can remain open.
  • Social visits to people's homes should be limited to a max of ten people from no more than four different households.
  • Current restrictions of 50 people in indoor gatherings, 200 at outdoor gatherings is being extended until 10 August.
  • It is continuing to advise against all non-essential travel.

The Government said regulations on face coverings in the retail sector will take some time to draft but that the strong advice is for people to start obeying the guidance immediately.

The Acting Chief Medical Officer at the Department of Health, Dr Ronan Glynn, said that the reproductive rate of the coronavirus, the R number, in Ireland is now between 1.2 and 1.8.

He warned the public that the pandemic is not over, and that it is accelerating globally.

Dr Glynn said efforts must now be redoubled to suppress the virus, and that it remains active in communities in Ireland.

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