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County to face same restrictions?

Wednesday, 30th September, 2020 2:40pm

It is unlikely that Cork city and county will face separate levels of restriction, should Cork go into Level 3.

Speaking yesterday at the Oireachtas Committee on Covid-19, Acting Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn said he had heard speculation that even if Cork city moved to Level 3 restrictions, Cork county may not. However, he said that it did not come from the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET).

This was in response to a question from Solidarity and Socialist Party TD for Cork North Central Mick Barry who asked about the prospect of county Cork staying at Level 2, even if the city moved to Level 3.

“So far we have evolved our approach from a national set of measures to a county approach,” Dr Glynn said, acknowledging that there are pros and cons to a county-wide approach in terms of restrictions.

“Increasingly we are getting data to support our long-standing view," he added in relation to people moving about a lot within their county on a daily basis. “We will look at Cork on a specific basis,” he said.

NPHET is to meet today, Thursday, and officials are set to discuss the situation in Cork and a number of other counties including Galway, Louth and Wicklow and whether some or all of them should move from Level 2 to Level 3.

Dublin and Donegal are currently the only counties at Level 3.

Dr Glynn said that issues with the county approach include people living outside of restricted counties regarding things as being fine in their areas.

He added that the reason for the messaging around Cork recently was not to warn people that a move to Level 3 was imminent - but was to warn people for their own safety, to get the cases down so that Level 3 would not be needed.

Independent TD for Cork South West Michael Collins told the committee that “Cork is different to other areas” due to its “150km spread which is massive”.

He said that Cork “has to be looked at differently”.

Dr Glynn also said NPHET would need to see a “significant improvement” in Dublin in order to recommend an easing of current restrictions which are due to last until next week.

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