Taoiseach indicates when decision on Phase 2 will be made

A decision on the next phase of the relaxation of restrictions will only be made on Friday, June 5, the Taoiseach has confirmed, three days before the second phase is due to start.

Speaking the Dail today, Leo Varadkar said the Government would not not know until the first week of June whether the easing of the restrictions has increased the Reproduction Number for the virus or to what extent.

The reproduction number indicates the average number of people who will catch a disease from a contagious person. The second phase of the roadmap to reopening Ireland is due to commence on Monday, June 8.

Cabinet will make a decision on the next steps on Friday June 5 on foot of advice from NPHET. I know that some other countries are opening faster but every country’s circumstances are different and we stand over the slow and steady approach. If things go well, it can be accelerated but we simply cannot make that call at the moment.”

He said whilst the country continues to mourn those who died and will never get used to the daily loss of life, we can take some comfort in the fact that the trend is going in the right direction.

Transmission in the community has been effectively suppressed, which was the strategy from the beginning, and we are now working to suppress it in other settings and clusters,” he said.

He added that so far Phase 1 in the relaxation of restrictions is “going well”.

He said there had been “broad compliance” with the rules and he wanted to say thank you to the Irish people.

We have shown our capacity to reorganise our lives to protect the welfare of all, and it is a remarkable demonstration of solidarity and care for each other.”