“Nphet decides not to recommend further Covid restrictions”

Health and court services struggling with staff shortages as Omicron peak nears

No new restrictions are being contemplated by the Government after it received the latest letter from Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan on Thursday night.

The National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) met on Thursday to review the epidemiological situation in the State and to consider whether any additional measures were needed amid record Covid-19 cases driven by the Omicron variant.

Senior sources said Nphet had recommended a continuance of current measures, likely until the end of the month.

Sources have also said changes to the isolation period for close contacts are unlikely to be made until after the peak of the Omicron wave, expected next week.

Senior Government figures said further restrictions were now unlikely in the present wave of the virus. It is understood that the view of senior officials is that with the spread of the Omicron variant at such high levels, further restrictions would serve little purpose.