Coronavirus Ireland: Leo Varadkar on if Level Five lockdown will save Christmas

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Tanaiste Leo Varadkar has offered his opinion as to whether or not a nationwide lockdown would be enough to return to normality on time for Christmas.

On Friday the Fine Gael leader hinted that he would not be in favour of a Level Five lockdown.

He said it needs to be “thought through” and it would be much more difficult for people and businesses.

But he did not rule it out.

His comments came after it was revealed the NPHET had advised that the country moves to Level 5 restrictions as the virus continues to spiral out of control.

Varadkar added: “The government took a decision only in the last couple of days to move some counties to Level Four and to heavily restrict home visits in the areas that are at Level Three.

“So the government has acted and acted only in the last couple of days and the government will act again but the timelines we follow are the ones set by the government.

“We’ll consider the letter, advice and evidence, think through the implications for the economy for society, mental health and other things and then make a decision.

“I do certainly feel that a second lockdown would be a lot more difficult than the first.

“And the public will want and expect to know what the exit strategy is.

“I’m not saying that it won’t happen or that it’s being ruled out or anything like that.”

He said social isolation in the winter months would be much more “difficult for people.”

In regards to whether or not a six week total lockdown would help save Christmas Varadkar said: “I think what people would want is some idea or assurances as to how long this would last for. What’s the target we’re trying to achieve and what would be the exit strategy.

“We know from the last lockdown when you get into it it can go on for a lot longer than you think and it can be quite slow to get out of it again.

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I can understand the view that I would hear sometimes from retailers and restaurateurs ‘Let’s lockdown now and we can reopen and have a normal Christmas.’

“I would be loathed to make that kind of promise actually.”

Source: Dublin News