| 9.6°C Dublin

Government to roll out Covid-19 vaccinations in coming months

But Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney warned the public not to be complacent in following health measures over the Christmas period.

Close

Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney said the Government expects to roll out Covid-19 vaccinations in the coming months but warned people not to be complacent about following health measures over Christmas (Brian Lawless/PA)

Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney said the Government expects to roll out Covid-19 vaccinations in the coming months but warned people not to be complacent about following health measures over Christmas (Brian Lawless/PA)

Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney said the Government expects to roll out Covid-19 vaccinations in the coming months but warned people not to be complacent about following health measures over Christmas (Brian Lawless/PA)

The Irish Government expects to roll out Covid-19 vaccinations in the coming months, Simon Coveney has said.

However, the Foreign Affairs Minister warned the public not to be complacent in following health measures over the Christmas period.

Restrictions to suppress the virus are to be eased from Tuesday on a phased basis.

Mr Coveney said the Government is loosening restrictions for the month of December to allow “some sense of normality to return” in the build-up to Christmas.

We all expect that we will have vaccines in the first quarter of next yearSimon Coveney

“It doesn’t mean that we don’t continue to live very much aware of the presence of Covid-19 and its threat of spread, so we encourage people to continue to do all the basic things,” he added.

“We all expect that we will have vaccines in the first quarter of next year.

“This is all about trying to avoid a significant third wave that will result in the tightening of restrictions until we get to a point where we can protect vulnerable people initially with vaccines and then society as a whole.”

As restrictions begin to ease across the state, the Government and the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) will focus on testing and contact tracing, Mr Coveney added.

“It’s to make sure that if there are new clusters emerging that we respond to them and stamp them out as quickly as we can.

“Of course there is a risk when we ease restrictions that we could see new clusters and new cases of spread and it’s up to us in government, watching the numbers and taking advice from Nphet, but also appealing to the public to act on the basis of what we have learnt, and that is, when people meet, particularly in large numbers, there is a significant risk of the spread of this virus.

“It depends on where the numbers are, what is the pace of the spread and the reasons behind clusters as they develop.

“We have a better understanding that non-essential retail isn’t perhaps as risky as what we thought it was a number of months ago, and we also have a real concern in relation to wet pubs, which is hugely frustrating for publicans.”

Health Minister Stephen Donnelly was meeting Professor Brian MacCraith, head of the state’s vaccination taskforce, on Monday.

Sunday World Newsletter

Sign up for the latest news and updates

This field is required This field is required

Prof MacCraith’s team is scheduled to deliver a rollout strategy to Government in mid-December.

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices


Top Videos





Privacy