Tánaiste says more restrictions may be needed before Christmas
The Fine Gael leader said that the government will be avoiding "any form of lockdown".
An Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has not ruled out the possibility of increased restrictions in the lead up to Christmas to deal with the rise in Covid-19 cases, though he said he hopes the Governement will be able to avoid a "full lockdown".
On RTÉ's Today with Claire Byrne programme, the Fine Gael leader said: "I think we may need more restrictions heading into the Christmas period but I don't think we need to be fatalistic about a return to any form of lockdown or even a 'lockdown light', and I think we should try to avoid that."
Mr Varadkar suggested that it would be a "big mistake" to introduce new restrictions in the next few days, especially if it turns out that the country has "turned a corner already" in terms of Covid-19.
However, the Tánaiste described the situation with the ICU as "very tight and very worrying", and warned listeners that the virus is not under control.
Pointing to the Covid-19 case numbers, Mr Varadkar said: "We would like to see case numbers fall. We would like to go into Christmas in a better place than we are now with the number of people in hospital and cases falling."
He encouraged the public to "keep the faith", and recognised that many are feeling a sense of helplessness with regards to the situation.
Today, NPHET will meet to issue advice regarding children.
On the subject of primary school students wearing masks in schools, the Tánaiste said that he understands that it might be difficult but added that if they wore face coverings "some of the time", then there would be additional protection.
With regards to antigen tests, Varadkar confirmed that he uses them himself before seeing others, and that he would like to see them cost between two and three euro going forward.
Feature image: Eamonn Farrell/RollingNews.ie