CMO says good progress is being made

The Chief Medical Officer says there are encouraging signs the country WILL be in a position to start easing the lockdown next week.

Phase one of the government's plan is due to begin on Monday, which includes the resumption of outdoor work and the reopening of some retail stores.

However, a final decision will be made later this week, once updated advice is provided by the National Public Health Emergency Team.

It comes as new figures show there are 23,242 confirmed cases of the virus, while 1,488 people have died. 

Dr Tony Holohan says there are good signs progress is being made in a number of important areas.

"Our reproduction number is where we want it to be, and the level of infection that we're detecting in the community now with the positivity rate of about 3% is giving us a sense of encouragement in relation to where we will be, and our readiness to move on.

"But that's not me saying that today is today, if we're going to be easing restrictions it will be in respect of an assessment we'll formally do towards the end of this week."

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