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Taoiseach hails ‘national effort’ to suppress virus at halfway point in lockdown

Micheal Martin paid tribute to all those following the latest restrictions.

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Taoiseach Micheal Martin paid tribute to people for following the latest lockdown restrictions (PA)

Taoiseach Micheal Martin paid tribute to people for following the latest lockdown restrictions (PA)

Taoiseach Micheal Martin paid tribute to people for following the latest lockdown restrictions (PA)

Taoiseach Micheal Martin has urged the public to continue adhering to coronavirus restrictions, as the country marks the halfway point of its second lockdown.

In a statement, Mr Martin said everyone’s efforts to drive down the incidence of the disease increases the chances of people being able “to enjoy a meaningful Christmas”.

The second lockdown is due to end on December 1, and Mr Martin paid tribute to all those following the rules.

He said: “Now that we have reached the mid-point of the enhanced Level 5 restrictions, I would like to pay tribute to the great national effort that is under way to suppress the virus and bring down the rate of infection across all communities.

I know that the effort we are making now, together as a nation, is saving lives and will allow us to reopen our society and our economy safely and sustainably into the futureMicheal Martin

“The data that we are seeing suggests that the effort is working, and that we are one of the leaders in Europe in terms of our progress in pushing back the virus.

“However, we cannot take anything for granted and we must continue to adhere to the restrictions for the next three weeks.

“We must see this through. By continuing to drive down the incidence of the disease, we give ourselves the best chance to reopen parts of our society and to enjoy a meaningful Christmas.

“The fact that we have been able to make progress at Level 5, while also keeping our schools and construction open, is testament to the tremendous efforts of the individuals involved in those sectors and the sacrifice and discipline of everyone else.

“Our frontline workers continue to be an inspiration in terms of their courage and commitment.

“I would like to pay particular tribute to our young people for the successful suppression of the virus among their age groups.

“They are missing out on a lot, but their time will come and they should take great pride in the effort they are making to protect the more vulnerable in our society.

“I am acutely conscious of how difficult the current restrictions are for everyone, and the very heavy price being paid by many sectors of our economy.

“However, I also know that the effort we are making now, together as a nation, is saving lives and will allow us to reopen our society and our economy safely and sustainably into the future.”

Under the current restrictions, schools and creches have stayed open.

Social or family gatherings have been prohibited, but visits on compassionate grounds and for caring purposes are allowed to continued.

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A man walks past the Brown Thomas Christmas window on Dublin’s Grafton street (Brian Lawless/PA)

A man walks past the Brown Thomas Christmas window on Dublin’s Grafton street (Brian Lawless/PA)

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A man walks past the Brown Thomas Christmas window on Dublin’s Grafton street (Brian Lawless/PA)

Attendance at weddings has been maintained at 25 guests.

Restaurants, cafes and bars are restricted to takeaway services and only essential retail outlets are open.

People have been asked to stay at home, with exercise permitted within a 5km radius of their home.

Only essential workers whose physical presence is required in the workplace are permitted to travel to work, while those who can work from home must do so.

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