11th Mar 2021
The grim news this morning is that it looks like we’re in for at least eight more weeks of restrictions.
According to an Irish Times report, Government members said the country was “on course” to extend the 5km limit, resume some outdoor activities and reopen construction but warned that just one big outbreak could destabilise matters (no doubt due to the handling of the vaccine rollout). Cases still remain high so it seems any major easing of restrictions isn’t on the cards it seems.
The State’s hands are tied by vaccine shortages, both the Taoiseach Micheál Martin and the Tánaiste Leo Varadkar told their parliamentary party meetings on Wednesday night, and efforts to secure manufacturing of vaccines or excess doses have reportedly proven futile.
Minimal changes in April
So what will happen on April 5th? Some changes around visitation for nursing homes will be considered, with a break on the 5km limit with non-essential construction work allowed to resume. Some outdoor activities may also be considered but it all depends on the numbers. Changes will be “minimalist” next month, according to Government sources. All school children should all be back in their classrooms and those in childcare will have returned to creches.
Retail is to remain shut and while the possibility of the resuming of ‘click and collect’ has been also reported, again, this has been downplayed by senior members.
In some good news, the European Medicines Agency is set to approve the Johnson & Johnson one-shot vaccine today.
And despite vaccine shortfalls in supply across the EU, the bloc announced yesterday it had secured an additional 4 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech dose – 46,500 of which will arrive in Ireland in the coming week.