Ireland has vowed to keep it curfew of 8 p.m., in place through at least the end of January. The reason: the spread of the omicron variant of COVID-19. Of course.
Transport Minister Eamon Ryan went on the Newstalk Breakfast podcast and provided this explanation, which he hopes will satisfy thirsty Irelanders at least for the time being.
“The numbers are still very high so we have to be careful and we still need to keep a close eye on ICU numbers and what the health outcome is,” he said. “If that in any way turns what you might see is an older cohort, for whatever reason, might come in. So, we will hold steady for the next week for sure.
“We are not due to come back to look at those restrictions until later in January.
“That gives us plenty of time. I think we’re all agreed; we get to the end of this month and these measures will help.
“These measures will keep the country going in a functioning manner and then it is in February, touch wood, please God, all going well, where we can start easing those restrictions.
“I am confident we will be able to (do it).
“I think there are grounds for cautious optimism, certainly in the medium term. It’s fairly clear now that Omicron is less severe than previous strains of the virus.
“It’s inherently less severe but also a lot of immunity has built up between vaccines and people being exposed to Covid.
“While we’re seeing record number of cases that’s not translating into hospital, ICU admissions and deaths in the way it did in previous waves, and that’s very reassuring.
“But it’s not yet time to drop our guard, this is still unfolding. We expect it to peek through the course of January and that would then put us in a position to start easing restrictions in February but it’s too early for that yet.”