The current Covid restrictions may not be lifted until October, it was emerged after a meeting of National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) on Wednesday. As per the latest reports, majority of new cases in the country are among 16-29 age group. In light of this, Nphet is advising the government not to ease restrictions unless a vast majority of people above 16 is vaccinated.
The government is planning the Cabinet Covid-19 sub-committee meeting on Friday to discuss the future roadmap for reopening. Earlier it was said the schools and colleges will start to come back on a phased basis from September 1. Public transport would also work with 100% capacity by next week.
But Nphet team is not fully satisfied with the current Covid situations as 2,051 more cases and 18 deaths reported in the country on Wednesday. Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan had also indicated 70% of the new cases are among unvaccinated or partially vaccinated people. This also indicates a need to postpone easing of restrictions and to focus on getting majority vaccinated in near future.
According to a report by the Irish Times, Nphet believe that somewhere between 85 to 90 per cent of over-16s will need to be fully vaccinated before any widespread further easing of restrictions can be recommended. To achieve this. We may need to wait at least until October.
Meanwhile the controversy over whether or not the Electric Picnic festival to take place in the autumn is intensifying. The Laois County Council have already refused permission for the festival and emphasized ‘there is “no provision in law” to enable it to revisit the refusal of an event licence for the music event.’ Some councilors also are of same opinion.
But organisers really expected the even to go on with a maximum of 70,000 participants on the weekend of September 24th to 26th.
On the other hand, the Government said there is no legal basis for restricting outdoor events to fully vaccinated people. Though they made it clear that, it was a matter of local authorities to decide.