COVID-19: 305 New Cases Confir...


COVID-19: 305 New Cases Confirmed In Ireland

Jack Quann
Jack Quann

05:37 28 Jun 2021

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There have been 305 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ireland.

The Department of Health says there are now 49 people in hospital with the virus - while 16 of these are in ICU.

The department says daily case numbers may change due to a future data review.

It comes as Tánaiste Leo Varadkar says a delay to the return of indoor dining is "not inevitable".

NHPET is meeting today to consider its advice on the next stage or re-popening.

However, there is growing concern in some quarters over rising levels of the Delta variant.

Speaking earlier, Mr Varadkar said he still hadn’t seen the NPHET modelling on the effect a delay may have.

Referencing the view put forward by NPHET member Professor Cathal Walsh that a short delay would reduce cases by 10%, he said: "That is not an awful lot."

"We will have to see all the advice, receive all the presentations today and tomorrow and make a decision," he said.

"The one thing I can say to everyone – citizens, employers, employees – what we want to avoid is having to go backwards.

"We want to avoid a situation whereby it is start-stop. So, a slow, cautious, methodical, logical approach is what we have done up until now; had a very successful reopening so far and we want to stay on that track."

He noted that, while the focus in recent days has been on the return of indoor dining, a decision will also have to be made on a number of other parts of reopening – including indoor play centres and indoor team sports.

While restaurateurs say the "summer will be lost" if the return of indoor dining is delayed until later in July.

Adrian Cummins of the Restaurants Association of Ireland earlier said it seems "50-50" about whether the reopening will go ahead next week.

He said: "Considering the North of Ireland is open fully… we’re an outlier.

"Now is the time to open, in our view, because the summer will be lost if we wait another two or three weeks."

Mr Cummins argued that Ireland's in a "different position" now than in previous re-openings, due to the vaccination programme.

However, he said the re-opening of restaurants seems like a "moveable feast".

He argued: "Hotels have been open since June 2nd with no outbreak of Delta variant. We’re very clear on this: we need to open, and we want to open on July 5th.

"Even if there is a delay, we’ll need to look for extra business supports. That must come, in the form of increased payments to our businesses."

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