TDs in Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael are revolting against the 5km travel limit – insisting it must be lifted on April 5th.
They expressed frustration at the lockdown measure during parliamentary party meetings last night.
Speaking to his party, the Taoiseach acknowledged people are “fed up” but said the country’s progress remains “fragile”.
A decision on whether to ease the lockdown is expected next week, and Carlow-Kilkenny TD John Mc Guinness is among those calling for the travel restrictions to be eased from then.
“I think it is important that people get some sort of relief and are given some form of hope, that we’re now moving into a position where we’re acknowledging what’s happening, which is essentially that people have gone beyond the 5km” he shared. “I don’t think it makes any sense whatsoever to hold the 5km [restriction] in place. The government need to respond to the demands from people, that this is an unrealistic expectation”.
It comes as a further 18 Covid-related deaths have been confirmed, along with 683 new cases.
Up to eight of the new infections are in Carlow and Kilkenny, with each county reporting fewer than five cases.
UCC virus expert, Professor Gerry Killeen, doesn’t believe easing restrictions right now is the correct call.
“We’re all frustrated, and we could have all been out of this by last September, but we’re not and so we just have to make some choices” he says. “There’s absolutely no room for easing restrictions right now, and there won’t be for a little while. So the question is do we drive this harder and faster and try and get out of it as quickly as we can.”