NPHET to consider level 5 exit

NPHET will meet this morning to consider whether the country should exit level 5 restrictions next week. 

The meeting's taking place a day earlier than usual, with Cabinet set to consider its recommendations ahead of an announcement tomorrow or Friday.

It's expected Ireland will move to a modified level 3 next week with retail reopening, hotels and restaurants later in the month, and wet pubs staying closed.

Meanwhile the Tánaiste says a third lockdown may be needed in January because of celebrations over Christmas.

Professor of Public Health at UCC, Patricia Kearney, says government must work out how that can be avoided.

"It's a blunt intstrument, it's appropriate to use as a way to give us time to try and put a strategy in place.

"We've used it twice now, and I don't think we should be facing it again in the New Year.

"I think I would be calling on our political leaders to think differently and see how can we avoid going into a lockdown and what other strategies do we need until we get to a point where we're really suppressing this virus."

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