The re-opening of the country will be led by data, not dates, according to the Taoiseach.
It comes as the government roadmap for re-opening contains no promises beyond the 12th of April.
Level 5 restrictions have been extended until at least April 5th with a review before Easter. (Full details here).
Schools will re-open on a phased basis next week with childcare also re-opening in March.
But there will be no other changes before April.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin says he wasn’t tempted to follow Boris Johnson’s plan full of ambitious targets.
While the Tánaiste insists Covid-19 is ‘in retreat’ across Ireland and the country is on the right track.
Leo Varadkar says the country is winning the battle against the disease.
45 additional deaths were confirmed here last evening with 575 new cases, up to four in Carlow with none in Kilkenny.
And the number of Covid patients in public hospitals has fallen to 642, the lowest in over seven weeks, while 151 are in intensive care.
Of these four are in the unit at St Luke’s General for Carlow and Kilkenny among 13 patients with Coronavirus there with three others suspected of having it.
36 people at University Hospital Waterford have the virus after two new admissions with three in ICU.
General secretary of the Teachers Union of Ireland, Michael Gillespie, says it’s important when schools reopen, they can remain open.
Shop owners are frustrated a roadmap to reopen non-essential retail was not included in last night’s announcement. Managing director of Retail Excellence, Duncan Graham, says the lack of a plan from government for shops is extremely disappointing.
The Licensed Vintners Association says yesterday’s announcement was a huge letdown for the hospitality industry. Chief executive Donall O’Keeffe says it gave no clarity for 150,000 people in the sector who are on the PUP.
Weddings will continue to be capped at six guests until at least April 5th. Ciara Crossan, the chief executive of WeddingDates-dot-ie, says couples are angry with last night’s announcement.
Those with underlying conditions will be moved up the Covid-19 vaccination priority list.
The Government has accepted the advice from NIAC which includes moving those aged 16 to 69 who’re very high risk, such as some cancer patients, from seventh to fourth on the list, just after the over 70s.
The fifth cohort has also been changed to include people aged 65 to 69 whose underlying condition puts them at high risk.
The Dáil will today debate legislation that will provide mandatory hotel quarantine for people coming here from high-risk areas.
It will also affect travellers without a negative Covid-19 test, but Opposition TDs will today call for it to affect all arrivals.
Dr Niall Conroy is an Irish consultant in public health medicine in Queensland, Australia, which had the measure in place for everyone.
He says that’s the only effective way.
In the UK
A judge in the UK has decided a woman who remains in a coma, a month after giving birth, should be allowed to die against the wishes of her family.
It means doctors in Leicester can lawfully stop providing life-support treatment to the patient, who contracted coronavirus and has an underlying health condition.
The woman’s husband and sister argued she should be given more time and treatment should continue.