January 17, 2022, 18:11

    Irish minister confident of easing COVID curbs from February

    Irish minister confident of easing COVID curbs from February

    DUBLIN, Jan 12 (Reuters) – Ireland should be in a position to start easing restrictions to slow the spread of COVID-19 from next month once the number of people requiring critical care remains stable, a senior minister said on Wednesday.

    Ireland has the second highest incidence rate of COVID-19 in Europe but also one of the continent's highest uptake of booster vaccines, helping keep the number of patients in intensive care stable and well below the peak of previous waves of the disease.

    The daily increase in the number of hospital admissions has also slowed in recent days and Communications Minister Eamon Ryan said that if the critical care figure holds steady, the economy would emerge from the current curbs.

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    "I am very confident we will be able to ease restrictions as we go into February. The science says that this will be a short wave, if we can get through it with our hospital numbers down, then we will be able to start lifting restrictions," Ryan, the leader of the junior coalition Green Party, told reporters.

    The government shut nightclubs and cut capacity at indoor events in early December before widening the constraints on crowds and ordering bars and restaurants to close at 8 p.m. two weeks later as the Omicron variant spread rapidly. read more

    Deputy Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said on Tuesday that restrictions would likely be eased on a phased basis. Previously the government has lifted the most recently imposed curbs first and further reopened the economy every two to three weeks.

    Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.comRegisterReporting by Padraic Halpin;
    Editing by Alison Williams

    Sourse: reuters.com

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