‘This is the fourth surge’ – Taoiseach announces new restrictions
Taoiseach Micheál Martin has announced a series of new measures to combat the spread of Covid-19.
In a televised address at Government Buildings, Mr Martin said Ireland is “experiencing another surge of Covid infection”.
He said it is estimated that for every four detected cases there may be as many as six asymtomatic undetected cases in the community, adding: “That is too many.”
“This is the fourth surge – but it is different – and the vaccination programme has allowed us to keep society open,” said the Taoiseach.
Mr Martin said that hospitals and GPs are seeing “huge increases with the number of people presenting with non-Covid problems”.
“The surge is a dramatic reminder of what the virus can do, and we need to act now,” he added.
The Taoiseach said the “advice is now that everyone should work from home unless it is absolutely necessary they attend in person”.
Mr Martin also confirmed that all customers will have to vacate licenced premises by midnight from Thursday, expect guests who are staying in hotels.
From now, household close contacts who are fully vaccinated and showing no symptoms should restrict their movements until they have three negative antigen test results within five days.
The Taoiseach was speaking as 4,407 new cases of Covid-19 were confirmed by the Department of Health this evening.
A total of 614 people with the virus are now being treated in hospital, down eight from yesterday. Of these, 114 patients are being treated in intensive care units.
Chief Medical Officer, Dr Tony Holohan, earlier warned the level of Covid cases is “unsustainable”.