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Cabinet discussions Minister Simon Coveney says 'people need room to breathe' as government look to relax some restrictions

But Mr Coveney said their primary objective is avoiding a fourth wave.

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Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney.

A relaxation of the 5km limit, a resumption of some outdoor activities and ensuring the complete return to school for all students are Government priorities ahead of Tuesday’s cabinet meeting.

Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney said the National Public Health Emergency Team and the Government know that “people do need some room to breathe” and will aim to do so, while balancing the gradual rise in cases in recent weeks.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin will make an announcement on Tuesday around the Government’s decision regarding the lessening of some restrictions, but Mr Coveney said their primary objective is avoiding a fourth wave.

“What we are trying to do now is ensure we don’t have a fourth wave between and when the majority of adults will be vaccinated.

“We know that by certainly mid-July, the vast majority of people who want to be vaccinated will be and so, I think there will be a lot of caution in Government to try to make sure we don’t allow what happened in January to happen now.

“I think the approach the Government takes will be cautious. I know many people are frustrated and they want to get out and about and get businesses back up and running. What we don’t want to do is to allow restrictions to be eased and then to have to re-impose them again,” Mr Coveney said on RTÉ’s This Week programme.

Nphet will report to Government tomorrow their advice on the path ahead for the nation and the Covid-19 cabinet subcommittee will meet at 6pm tomorrow evening to discuss plans, Minister Coveney confirmed.

“There will be recommendations coming from that sub-committee to the cabinet on Tuesday morning.

Mr Coveney said that if a return to construction can be done safely, “then the Government would really like to do that”.

“Every week we aren’t building houses, we are building up a real pressure point and a problem in terms of housing demand.

“We would certainly like to see an increase in construction activity after Easter, but we will be guided by public health advice”.

Mr Coveney said the first priority, though, must be public health and pointed out that case numbers have marginally increased in the last 10 days.

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