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Easing lockdown laws in different counties too difficult and risky – minister

Social Protection Minister Regina Doherty said there needs to be a nationwide approach when it comes to easing the lockdown

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Social Protection Minister Regina Doherty has said it would be too difficult to ease lockdown laws on a regional basis across Ireland (Steve Humphreys/PA)

Social Protection Minister Regina Doherty has said it would be too difficult to ease lockdown laws on a regional basis across Ireland (Steve Humphreys/PA)

Social Protection Minister Regina Doherty has said it would be too difficult to ease lockdown laws on a regional basis across Ireland (Steve Humphreys/PA)

Social Protection Minister Regina Doherty has said it would be too difficult to ease lockdown laws on a regional basis across Ireland.

The National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) will advise the Government on the next stages of the lockdown after it meets on Friday morning.

Cabinet will then debate the advice before Taoiseach Leo Varadkar makes an official announcement.

NPHET is expected to call for the current guidelines to be extended with little or no relaxation of the restrictions in place.

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(PA Graphics)

(PA Graphics)

Press Association Images

(PA Graphics)

Earlier this week, Independent TD John Halligan said is a “case to be made” for easing restrictions in various counties, adding that Dublin has some of the highest infection rates.

However, Ms Doherty told Newstalk FM that such a plan would be too difficult to implement.

“I think it would be a very difficult situation, not only to communicate but also to police, for want of a better word,” she said.

“If all of the restaurants opened in Kildare, for example – I know where all of the people in nearby Meath would be heading to.

“It is very difficult – we are one nation and the fact that some of our more rural communities have been blessed to have less cases of Covid-19 is absolutely great for them as it has exposed them to less risk.”

“So, it doesn’t mean we should expose them to an increased level of risk.

“As we reopen our society and bring more people into society, that is going to cause an increased level of risk for everybody.

“For people living in rural communities … the majority of ICU beds are in our cities so the capacity of being able to treat people as a nation, does not come on a regional basis or per town and per county.”

PA