Taoiseach Micheal Martin

  • NPHET has delayed a key meeting on easing restrictions next month.

    The public health body was due to meet tomorrow but will now wait until Monday.

    It's in a bid to gather as much data as possible before making a decision on whether any restrictions can ease from April 5th.

    In the Dáil this afternoon Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said the full picture needs to be taken into account.

  • 5 further deaths and 1,095 new cases of Covid-19 were confirmed yesterday evening - a record daily figure.

    This includes 50 additional cases in Co Galway, 13 in Mayo, 14 in Sligo, 8 in Roscommon and less than 5 in Leitrim.

    The 14-day incidence rate nationally is now at 190 per 100,000 people - Sligo is currently at 207,  Roscommon 189, Galway 174, Leitrim 146 and Mayo is 89 per 100,000 population - the 5th lowest rate in the 26 counties.

    The Taoiseach has warned that "things may get worse before they get better" in relation to Covid-19, but said the country can get through this, if people work together and adhere to the rules.

    He was speaking last night, after the Cabinet agreed to move the three border counties of Cavan, Monaghan and Donegal to level 4 restrictions from midnight for 4 weeks.

    It means all non-essential retail will close, only key workers should travel to work, while gyms and hairdressers will close.

     

    The entire country has also been placed on an enhanced level three, where all visits to homes or gardens are banned with some essential exemptions.

  • The Taoiseach has warned Brexit talks are on a knife-edge ahead of a crunch meeting this evening.

    British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen will try to end the current impasse over dinner in Brussels.

    Earlier Boris Johnson told the House of Commons that the EU is making unacceptable demands.

  • The Taoiseach says people should expect tight Covid 19 restrictions to continue until at least early April.

    Micheál Martin says some classrooms and construction will reopen over the next few weeks.

    But he's warning case numbers are still too high for the majority of restrictions to ease.

    The current covid measures were due to end on the 5th of March.

    But the Taoiseach says people can assume most of them will continue until Easter..

  • The Taoiseach says a decision on exiting Level 5 restrictions will be made next week.

    Micheál Martin told a meeting of the Fianna Fáil parliamentary party last night that he wants people to have a 'wholesome and enjoyable' Christmas.

    A Dáil debate on exiting Level 5 in early December will take place on Tuesday, however the ultimate decision will be taken by cabinet later in the week.

    It comes as the death toll associated with Covid-19 here has now passed 2,000, after a further 12 deaths were reported yesterday along with 379 new cases.

    This includes 17 new cases in Galway, 10 in Mayo, 6 in Sligo, 5 in Roscommon and less than 5 in Leitrim.

    Roscommon is currently the only Connacht county with a 14-day incidence rate higher than the national average.

    The average 14-day rate nationally is now just under 120 cases per 100,000 people - in Roscommon, it's 158 and is now the 5th highest county in the country.

    Meanwhile, Galway now has the 3rd lowest 14-day rate.

    The National Public Health Emergency Team will meet today amid concerns that the progress in tackling Covid-19 has slowed significantly over the past week.

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    The Government is planning to increase the 500 euro fine for going on holidays abroad to 2,000 euro.

    It would mean a couple travelling abroad on an unnecessary journey could face a 4,000 euro add on bill if stopped on the way to the airport.

    Around 4,500 people arriving at Dublin Airport last week had been on holiday.

    Taoiseach Micheál Martin has asked the Health Minister to increase the fines....

  • A formal date for the re-opening of indoor dining may not be agreed until tomorrow.

    Cabinet Ministers are being briefed on the legislation over the phone this afternoon, ahead of a full cabinet meeting in the morning.

    The new laws will allow fully vaccinated people or those recovered from Covid-19 to dine indoors, starting sometime next week.

    Taoiseach Micheál Martin says they haven't agreed an exact date yet:

     

  • The Taoiseach is warning the full reopening of pubs could be delayed.

    Micheál Martin is hitting out at the scenes over the weekend, where hundreds of people gathered to drink in some locations.

    Pubs are due to fully reopen on July 20th.

    But speaking on Red FM today, the Fianna Fáil leader said that may not now go ahead.

  • The Taoiseach says plans for a further easing of Covid-19 restrictions from May will be announced in the coming days.

    It's expected restrictions on inter-county travel will be lifted at some point in June, and hotels and guesthouses could reopen.

    While there's increasing confidence in Government that non-essential retail could return next month.

    Micheal Martin says Cabinet will set out a plan in the next few days.

  • The government advice against all non-essential foreign travel has been extended until July 20th.

    A potential 'green list' of countries people can travel to safely is due to be published in two weeks' time.

    However, that list will be reviewed every two weeks and will likely change if the health situation in one of those countries escalates.

     

  • The Taoiseach says the Government is on target to have a plan to reopen indoor dining in place for July 19th.

    For the second time this week, representatives for the hospitality sector met Government officials about the plans yesterday.

    Taoiseach Micheal Martin says the Dail will need to pass legislation to allow indoor dining to reopen for only vaccinated people.

     

    The Vintners's Federation of Ireland says if a so-called vaccine pass is what's required, then the onus is now on Government to get the legislation passed.

    Chief Executive Padraig Cribben says businesses must be protected legally by these laws...

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • Foreign holidays could return by the end of July under plans being considered this week.

    Ireland will sign up to the EU's Digital Green Certificate on travel by July 1st and will then have six weeks to implement it.

    The move will likely see the end of mandatory hotel quarantine for most EU countries, but it will be kept for other areas of concern.

    Taoiseach Micheál Martin says the Government will lay out plans this week for re-opening a number of sectors, including hospitality, live events, entertainment and the arts.

  • The Taoiseach says half of the adult population will have their first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine by next week.

    It comes as 99 patients are currently in hospital with the virus - the lowest figure reported by the Department of Health since September 24th.

    It has fallen by 46 per cent in the past month, and by 22 per cent in the space of 48 hours.

  • The Taoiseach says the Delta variant of Covid-19 is an ongoing concern and will be a 'slow-burner'.

    He told his parliamentary party last night testing and tracing will be increased to try to address the highly transmissible strain.

    The highest number of Covid cases in 76 days was reported yesterday, with 581 new infections.

    Professor Emer Shelley, from the Royal College of Physicians, says we're at the start of the fourth wave.

  • New restrictions have been announced by the Government this evening, to contain the spread of Covid-19. 

    Following today's cabinet meeting, the number of people that can visit a home is being reduced to 6 people, from no more than 3 households, and outdoor events will be limited to 15 people -until at least September 13th.

    Over 70's are being asked to limit their contacts and to shop at designated times, while all sports events are to take place without spectators.

    People are being advised to avoid public transport and to continue to work from home. 

    Legislation is also being considered to give Gardai greater powers to enforce the measures.

    Taoiseach Michael Martin says we have to redouble our efforts to tackle the virus.

  • Pubs will notbe allowed to reopen next Monday amid concern at the increased rate of spread of Covid-18.

    The government has agreed to delay the move to Phase 4 of the reopening  of the country as the case numbers continue to rise.

    Taoiseach Micheal Martin says he knows the decision comes as a disappointment to many businesses, but says it's vital we continue to take a cautious approach.

    It means pub and hotel bars not serving food, nightclubs and casinos will remain closed - the decision will be reviewed in three weeks.

    The Taoiseach also said the size of crowds gathering will remain at 200 outdoors and 50 indoors.

    Face coverings will be mandatory in shops and shopping centres from next Monday 10th August.

    Meanwhile, the 'green list' of countries for foreign travel has been reduced from 15 to 10 due to the spread of the virus.

    Malta, Cyprus, Gibraltor, Monaco and San Marino have been dropped from the list of countries deemed safe to travel to.

  • From next Monday week, people will be allowed to travel within their own counties - or 20km from their home if crossing county boundaries.

    Social meet-ups will also be allowed outdoors with one other household from April 12th - but not in private gardens.

    Residential construction will also resume on that date, after a 13-week shutdown.

    Golf courses, tennis courts and visitor attractions are all set to open from April 26th, while underage sports training will also resume on that date, and the number of people attending funerals will increase to 25.

    The Government last evening announced the roadmap out of some Covid-19 restrictions over the next month.

    A vaccine bonus will also kick in, with two people or households that are fully vaccinated allowed to meet indoors from today.

    The measures will be reviewed in the last week of April ahead of a May 4th date for further re-opening - hairdressers, retail, places of worship and the rest of the construction sector will be considered in May.

    Looking further ahead, hotels and B&Bs are likely to reopen in June and domestic travel is set to resume in July.

    Taoiseach Micheál Martin says people will be able to enjoy much greater freedoms this summer...

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    The Taoiseach has said he sees the contradictions in the Government's plans to re-open indoor dining.

    They're developing a system to allow fully vaccinated people or those who've recovered from Covid to dine indoors.

    However younger, unvaccinated people will be expected to work in restaurants they can't be served a meal in.

    Taoiseach Micheál Martin says he sees the problems there, despite signing off on the measures...

  • From next Monday week 12th April, people will be allowed to travel within their own county.

    Taoiseach Mícheal Martin has this evening outlined plans of a roadmap for lifting level 5 restrictions.

    From 12th April, all schools will be fully reopened, people can travel within their county and construction of homes and childcare facilities can resume.

    Two households will also be allowed to meet outdoors.

    From 19th April, inter-county GAA training can resume, along with high performance training for some athletes approved by Sport Ireland.

    26th April will see the resumption of sports training for children, while golf and tennis will also be permitted from that date.

    Zoos and wildlife parks will also reopen from that date, two households who are fully vaccinated will be allowed to meet indoors, and the number of people attending funerals will be extended to 25.

    The Taoiseach outlined targets for the Covid-19 vaccination programme.

    He said people will not be able to celebrate Easter this year in the way they would like, but they should reflect on the sacrifices they have made over the past year, and look forward with hope.

     

     

  • The Taoiseach has made a formal state apology to the victims and survivors of Mother and Baby Homes.

    Micheál Martin told the Dáil that basic kindness was not shown to vulnerable women by either church or state.

    The Taoiseach described the treatment of these women as a flagrant breach of human rights.

    He said an apology is not enough and committed to responding to the recommendations of the Commission on Mother and Baby Homes' report.

    Taoiseach Micheál Martin made a formal apology on behalf of the state in the last hour.