NPHET urges Irish employees to stay home and work remotely amid numbers of ‘heartbreaking’ Covid cases
Employees who had returned to the office are working from home again in another lockdown U-turn.
Advised by NPHET, the government recommends visiting the workplace in person only when absolutely necessary.
Two months ago, the rule of working from home was relaxed with the start of the gradual return to the office, now the situation is receding.
In more lockdown “U-turns”, the closing hours of nightclubs, pubs and bars have been reduced to midnight, despite the fact that licensed premises were given the freedom to open normally a few years ago. barely weeks.
People will have to restrict their movements for five days if they are family contact and will have to undergo three antigen tests as part of a new policy change.
Strict rules continue regarding mask wearing and social distancing for indoor and outdoor environments.
A new antigen testing program will be put in place for schoolchildren who are in close contact with a confirmed case.
The tightening of previously relaxed restrictions comes as the number of Covid cases rises.
As of Thursday, 4,650 new cases of the virus were recorded across the country, including 643 in hospital and 118 in intensive care.
Dr Tony Holohan, chief medical officer at the Department of Health, issued a warning, saying: ‘About one in six people in Ireland has experienced Covid-like symptoms such as cough, sore throat, high temperature or other pseudo-like symptoms. fluids over the past week. .
“The most important action you can take if you experience symptoms of Covid-19 is to isolate yourself and organize a PCR test – not an antigen test.
“If you want to avoid passing Covid-19 or other respiratory illnesses to friends, family or coworkers, isolating yourself quickly as soon as your symptoms start is the most important thing you can do. ”
Tanaiste Leo Varadkar said he “hoped” that more restrictions were not introduced before Christmas and said as a country we were “heartbroken” in an interview with CNN.
Le Tanaiste also said that the 5% of people who were not vaccinated “caused a lot of problems”.
He also said he plans to have booster shots given to everyone in Ireland.
When asked if the country would face more restrictions in the run-up to Christmas, Mr Varadkar said: “I hope not.
“We will re-assess the situation in about two weeks and see if the cases have stabilized and hopefully they will go down by then, but there is no guarantee that will be the case.
“I’ve always said we have to go through another winter before we can put this pandemic behind us.
“I think as a nation we’re a little downcast, a little heartbroken that we’re back in a tough space when it comes to Covid.”