This Should Be 'Summer Of Free...


This Should Be 'Summer Of Freedom In Ireland' - Varadkar

Jack Quann
Jack Quann

08:50 11 Jan 2022

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The Tánaiste has said he wants to see this summer as a 'summer of freedom'.

Leo Varadkar said while he couldn't give a date for easing restrictions, he's hopeful the summer will be a better one.

"I would like to see us, across the spring and summer, at least keeping up with our European peers when it comes to the easing of restrictions.

"Last summer we had among probably the strictest restrictions in Europe... I don't want this summer to be the same.

"I don't want summer 2023 in Ireland to be the summer in which we've the worst restrictions in Europe, or the toughest restrictions in Europe.

"I want 2023 to be a summer of freedom in Ireland, if that's possible."

And he said he'd be "pushing for a more rapid re-opening across the spring and summer - but only if it's safe to do so".

But he believes there is cause for optimism "in the medium term".

"It is now clear that Omicron is less severe than previous strains of the virus - it's inherently less severe, but also we've built up a lot of immunity between vaccination and natural immunity from people getting infected.

"While case levels are extremely high, we're not seeing that translate into the levels of morbidity and mortality that we would have seen in previous waves.

"That does give me cause for optimism - that we can get through this wave quicker than we did previous waves, but it's not yet time to drop our guard.

"This is still unfolding and probably has not yet peaked".

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