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lifiting lockdown Dr Ronan Glynn regrets alarm at suggestion restrictions could last until June

Dr Ronan Glynn said caution is needed in the pandemic until vaccinations have been administered but insists there is hope.

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Dr Ronan Glynn (Julien Behal Photography)

Dr Ronan Glynn (Julien Behal Photography)

Dr Ronan Glynn (Julien Behal Photography)

Ireland’s deputy chief medical officer Dr Ronan Glynn has expressed regret at frustration in response to a suggestion that coronavirus restrictions could remain until June.

Dr Glynn said caution is needed in the ongoing coronavirus pandemic until a majority of the country is vaccinated by the end of June, pointing to surging case numbers in the other European countries.

However he also insisted there is hope and that the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) is grateful for the general compliance with health advice.

Strict rules aimed at limiting social contact remain in place across Ireland, however a phased return to schools is under way.

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Anti-lockdown demonstrators during a protest outside Leinster House, Dublin (Brian Lawless/PA)

Anti-lockdown demonstrators during a protest outside Leinster House, Dublin (Brian Lawless/PA)

Anti-lockdown demonstrators during a protest outside Leinster House, Dublin (Brian Lawless/PA)

There have been a series of anti-lockdown protests in Ireland in recent weeks.

A suggestion by Dr Glynn at a press conference on Thursday that some restrictions may potentially be required until June sparked frustration among some.

Responding on Friday, Dr Glynn said Nphet “could improve our messaging”.

“We have sought over and over again over the past year to acknowledge the fatigue, the frustration, the exhaustion that people are feeling with these measures,” Dr Glynn told a Nphet press conference on Friday.

“We know how difficult it is for people in this country, we do not make recommendations lightly.”

Dr Glynn said that despite having made good progress over the past 10 weeks, Ireland remains in a “precarious position” in terms of the coronavirus pandemic.

“As a result of that I simply said that we need to be cautious over the next two months because none of us want a fourth wave, we all remember what happened as a result of Christmas and New Year, and none of us want to see that happen again,” he said.

“I would ask people, all parts of society, to stick with the key messages over the coming weeks which is that there is hope – eight out of 10 people will receive the vaccine by the end of June. We can all look forward collectively to much brighter days.

“Things will get gradually easier over the coming short months if we can stop a fourth wave.”

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