Dr Tony Holohan chaired a meeting of NPHET this Sunday
NPHET with Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan back at the helm has recommended that Ireland returns to the strictest level of lockdown in response to growing Covid-19 numbers.
A letter has been sent to the government, following a meeting this Sunday, recommending that the entire country move from Level 2 to Level 5 in the Living With Covid-19 framework.
This would impose extremely strict restrictions on people and many businesses similar to those imposed in March.
According to reports in national media outlets, the leaders of Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and the Green Party will meet with Dr Holohan on Monday to discuss the latest recommendations.
They will then be discussed by the NPHET oversight group and the full cabinet.
Level 5 restrictions would mean most non-essential businesses closing and people restricted to travelling within 5km of their homes, except for essential work, health and care reasons.
The Department of Health was notified of 364 more cases of Covid-19 and no new deaths on Sunday after more than 600 cases on Saturday. 3,000 cases were diagnosed in the Republic of Ireland this week.
There has now been a total of 38,032 confirmed cases in Ireland and 1,810 deaths.
It is understood there is considerable resistance with cabinet to a move to Level 5 with fears over the impact it would have on business and the wider economy.
The pandemic has thus far cost the government over €9 billion in supports and measures to stem the impact and reduce employment deficits.
Public entitled to frank #NPHET update on latest #Covid_19 thinking.Surely, should be a risk-based proportionate model & look to avoid general lockdown type choices. Implications of direct move to level 5 profound on socio-economic grounds.Where stands latest roadmap? @CMOIreland pic.twitter.com/KFPMYQUA1z— Kieran O’Donnell TD for Limerick City Constituency (@kodonnellLK) October 4, 2020