| 9.2°C Dublin

xmas hope 'It's been a long, dark tunnel we've been in and people deserve a break this Christmas,' says HSE chief Paul Reid

Close

HSE chief executive Paul Reid urged people to avoid ‘congregated indoor settings to the greatest extent possible’ (Niall Carson/PA)

HSE chief executive Paul Reid urged people to avoid ‘congregated indoor settings to the greatest extent possible’ (Niall Carson/PA)

HSE chief executive Paul Reid urged people to avoid ‘congregated indoor settings to the greatest extent possible’ (Niall Carson/PA)

HSE Chief Paul Reid has said that while he is "concerned" that Christmas festivities may lead to a spike in Covid-19 cases, the public deserves a “break” this Christmas.

Mr Reid said that a further lockdown in January "shouldn't be inevitable" provided that the public exercise personal responsibility over the coming weeks.

Speaking on Newstalk Breakfast, Mr Reid said Ireland is "in one of the strongest positions in comparison to all European countries" in slowing the spread of Covid-19.

"Between the decisions the Government made in level three and the implementation of level five, we put ourselves in a much stronger position than we were,” he said.

"The costs of lockdown are very significant, and very significant for the health service as well, very significant for the economy and the health service.

"The Government have made the decisions they have to make to get us unto a strong position and hopefully have a reasonable Christmas, it's not going to be the same as last year and hopefully is different to next year, but I do believe we can have a safe Christmas."

An announcement on the easing of level five Coronavirus restrictions will be made this evening by Taoiseach Micheal Martin.

It is expected restaurants and gastropubs will be allowed to reopen, despite NPHET advice.

Mr Reid said he has "the same concerns as everybody" that Christmas will lead to a spike in cases.

He said: "What I've described as the lag effect is as people mix in greater numbers, it does take a few weeks for them to come in as hospital cases.

"So from our perspective, I would be concerned. This is in our hands, we can make it a safe Christmas.

Sunday World Newsletter

Sign up for the latest news and updates

This field is required This field is required

"People deserve it, it's been a long, dark tunnel we've been in and people deserve a break, people need to see their families, and that's a value for the health service as well.

"We urge the public to work with us and make it a very safe Christmas."

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

Online Editors


Privacy