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Minister for Health explains why Zero COVID plan cannot be implemented in Ireland

DUBLIN: The Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly has come up with an explanation for the inability to implement a Zero COVID strategy in Ireland.

The Minister said that, in order to enforce the strategy, the existing level 5 restrictions in the country would need to be extended for months to come, and schools will need to be closed and the travel limit of 5 km reduced to 2 km. For these reasons, he said, it was impossible to implement the Zero COVID strategy in Ireland.

Minister Donnelly explained why Ireland did not follow a Zero COVID plan similar to that of countries like New Zealand during yesterday’s discussion on legislation to introduce mandatory quarantine legislation.

Although there are many people who support the strategy, Minister said it is “just not possible” to achieve. “Based on what is required to get there and on the current level of compliance with level 5, the public health advice is that it is just not possible, no matter how much people might want it, particularly with this B117 variant because it is so much more contagious,” he said.

He said there should be no construction, no education, and no business to implement the strategy. “Those little bits we have, the little coffee shop where you can get your coffee on your walk, none of that. No sports, no arts, nothing,” he added.

“It would require keeping the level 5 measures in place now for months and months. I do not know how long, but September, October or November. It would require not opening the schools. It would probably require going back to a 2 km measure for our homes,” Minister said.

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