Dr Tony Holohan: No gaff parties, we're in a pandemic 2 months ago

Dr Tony Holohan: No gaff parties, we're in a pandemic

If you or your mates are planning a house party, you might want to read this...

Chief Medical Officer at the Department of Health Dr Tony Holohan has urged the public to continue following the public health guidelines.

He said that while the public has generally "stayed with" them in terms of compliance, a worrying trend of house parties taking place across the country has given them cause for concern.

Speaking at the Department of Health daily briefing, Dr Holohan said that while much of the evidence of this would be anecdotal at the moment, there is a notable increase in this kind of activity.

"Anecdotally, we all know probably from our personal lives and so on, house parties are being organised with abandon - it seems to me - as though we weren’t in the midst of a pandemic," Dr Holohan said.

"So that’s a continuing cause for concern irrespective of the phase we’re in."

Dr Holohan stressed that while these activities may be allowed in later phases, the country is not at a point now where these kinds of gatherings were advisable.

"There will become a point in time when certain activities that are indoor in nature can happen in controlled ways but we’re really not at a point now where house parties and gathering indoors is appropriate," he said.

"I know there’s a lot of focus has been on some of the external public gatherings on beaches and platforms at DART stations and such places and these would give us cause for concern, but it is the unseen activity in ordinary houses.

"It’s very easy to understand but we’re really not a point where that’s an activity we can recommend," he added.

At the same briefing, Professor Philip Nolan, Chair of the NPHET Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group, said that current indications suggested that the reproductive number of the virus had not been negatively affected by the easing of restrictions in Phase One.

He said that while there is the possibility that reproductive number of the virus had risen marginally from last week, it still stood between 0.4 and 0.7.