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Government plans to reopen all sectors of Ireland by Christmas

DUBLIN: The government plans to reopen all sectors of Ireland before the end of the year, the health minister said. Minister Stephen Donnelly has said that the government plans to move forward with the next phase of easing COVID-19 restrictions, with the aim of reopening all sectors by Christmas.

Mr Donnelly said that the Government’s goal is to “provide real certainty for people”, and that the specific dates of reopening will be decided based on the NPHET recommendation.

The National Public Health Emergency Team will meet on Wednesday to decide what advice it will give to the government. The Cabinet will then discuss on the NPHET’s advice and publish a road map for the next phase of reopening next week.

Minister Donnelly said: “Most of society and most of the economy is open but we’re very aware that there are still parts that aren’t and that have suffered hugely.

“What we want to do is help them open as quickly as possible and make sure that when they do open, that they can stay open, and give them clarity as to when that can happen so they can plan accordingly.

The Minister for Health added that certain basic public safety measures, such as the use of masks in high-risk environments, may be kept in place for some time.

Mr Donnelly also expressed optimism about the reopening of all schools and colleges as planned. He said it was “a top priority” for the government.

Meanwhile, HSE CEO Paul Reid said that almost 86% of adults in Ireland are now fully vaccinated, while 91% of adults have received a first dose.

Mr Reid said that over 144,000 children aged 12 to 15 have registered to get a vaccine, with 88,000 doses had been administered to that age group.

Yesterday, Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan said that Ireland is still not at the peak of this COVID-19 wave.  At present, 307 patients, including 55 in the intensive care unit, are being treated at the hospital for COVID-19.

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