NPHET to discuss easing of rules around close contacts

NPHET is expected to discuss the easing of rules around close contacts when it meets later this morning.

It comes as the HSE’s testing system remains under huge pressure due to the high number of young people presenting for a covid test.

30,000 swabs were taken yesterday, with pop-up sites being opened to ease pressure on the system.

Currently anyone who’s unvaccinated and is a close contact has to self isolate and take two PCR tests – one right away and another at the 10 day mark.

Professor of infectious diseases, Sam McConkey, says it’s important any further easing is done in a cautious way.

“It’s appropriate that we continue a stepwise, gradual easing of restrictions.

“Not a Boris Johnson-style Freedom Day, where we stop doing everything. That would be rash and foolish, and would lead to an increase like it did in England.

“A cautious, stepwise easing that’s a political decision as to which of our restrictions we are living under our leaders decided to ease.

“I think there’s a range of options there.”

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