#Covid-19: Next week will see decision on whether lockdown will continue past April 12 1 month ago

#Covid-19: Next week will see decision on whether lockdown will continue past April 12

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar spoke at a government buildings yesterday evening, sharing an update on the #Covid-19 crisis.

He began by sharing condolences on behalf of the nation with those who have recently been bereaved as a result of the coronavirus and he spoke about a number of issues, including the economy, the hope that state exams will go ahead and the restrictions currently in place.

Mr Varadkar said that we have made real progress in flattening the curve and thanked the Irish public for their help in complying with quarantine and the measures put in place.

However he cautioned that there is a lot more to be done and it will be next week before any decision is made on lockdown.

"The progress that we have made is definitely not enough. We need to get that rate of increase down to about five percent or less, in order to give us the assurance that we need that we will have the adequate capacity in our health service to deal with an increasing number of cases.

"We'll have a better idea towards the end of next week as to how we're getting on because we'll know if the recent restrictions have been making a difference.

"We will be able to make a decision towards the end of next week, as to whether those restrictions need to be extended, relaxed or refined in any way."

He also said that before the restrictions can ease, an effective network of contact tracing must be in operation.

"Contact tracing is being stepped up. There will be a point in the future where we start to ease the restrictions, we can only do that if we have good testing and contact tracing infrastructure available to us."

He also encouraged students currently studying for their Leaving Cert and Junior Cycle to continue as the government aim to hold exams as scheduled this year.

The Taoiseach wants to avoid a situation where these pupils lose out on "a year" or "half a year" if they were unable to go ahead.