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Silent Night Taoiseach ‘can’t rule out’ further Covid-19 restrictions before Christmas

"I can’t rule anything out, we will need a good discussion but what I am heartened by is over the last two months people have responded to the public health messaging."

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Taoiseach Micheal Martin (Brian LAwless/PA)

Taoiseach Micheal Martin (Brian LAwless/PA)

Taoiseach Micheal Martin (Brian LAwless/PA)

Taoiseach Michéal Martin said he “can’t rule out” further restrictions before Christmas but that an overwhelming majority of the country is already planning a quieter day.

When asked on RTÉ’s Six One News whether further formal restrictions could be introduced, Mr Martin said: “We have taken steps, we have already introduced restrictions.

“I can’t rule anything out, we will need a good discussion but what I am heartened by is over the last two months people have responded to the public health messaging.

"Since the decisions we made earlier people have adjusted their behaviour and recent research from Amarach is showing that 61pc of people have cancelled activities and 81pc of people at Christmas will adjust their behaviour.

"We all need to hold the collective nerve here. We've been through different waves of the pandemic. We'll get over this wave as well."

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Taoiseach Michéal Martin

Taoiseach Michéal Martin

Taoiseach Michéal Martin

The Taoiseach is due to meet Nphet this evening along with Green Party leader Eamon Ryan. He said they will be “teasing out” the Omicron variant and discussing its threat in an “informal way initially”.

Mr Martin said vaccination for high-risk under 12’s will commence next week, with the majority of the cohort being offered a jab in January.

"The HSE on the week commencing the 20th of December will start vaccinating high-risk children, and that's the high priority that was given by Niac.

"And then the major cohort will be in January, from the 10th of January onwards.”

The Taoiseach said it’s not the Government’s intention to close schools early for Christmas “at this stage”.

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He added that it’s the “collective objective for all of us is to keep schools open.”

On who will receive a booster vaccine before Christmas, the Taoiseach said that aim has been “over 50s, health care workers, long term residents, those immunocompromised would be boosted or have a date by the end of the year.

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