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‘Under review’: Confusion over Government’s possible Covid restrictions for Christmas

by Erin Lindsay
09th Nov 2020

Plans for the festive season remain unclear from the Government

The Government has been criticised for its lack of clarity over possible Covid-19 restrictions on Christmas celebrations this year.

Yesterday, Professor Philip Nolan, a leading member of NPHET, warned that “strict limits” will be needed on Christmas get-togethers.

In an interview with the Sunday Business Post, Nolan warned that easing restrictions over Christmas could result in a third wave of the virus in the new year.

When pressed on what restrictions would be in place during the Christmas season, Junior Minister Robert Troy said the situation would be kept “under review”.

He said: “I can’t honestly say here today, in terms of what’s going to happen at Christmas.

“Only to say that the government with NPHET, with the public health advice, are keeping the situation under constant review to ensure that we can open up the economy as much as possible in December, and to ensure that we can have as good a Christmas as possible under the circumstances.”

He said: “Christmas will not be the same as previous Christmases, it can’t be the same as previous Christmases. This is a highly contagious disease.”

Dr. Tony Holohan was similarly cautious last week in his advice around travelling home to Ireland for Christmas, and said it was “simply unknowable at this time” how this would work in December.

The government have been criticised by opposition members on the lack of clarity on the situation. On this weekend’s Week in Politics on RTÉ, Sinn Féin TD Kathleen Funchion said the government had to provide more clarity to allow people to plan for the festive season.

She said: “People were told for the last number of weeks that they had to go into Level 5 to sort of save Christmas. Now we’re seeing that it’s going to be very restricted anyway.

“I think the vast majority of people understand that the regulations are in place for a reason and want to follow them.

But there does need to be a lot more in terms of planning and telling people what exactly it’s going to look like if they are going to restrict people in relation to Christmas and Christmas visits.”

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