At midnight last Tuesday, the Government moved the country to Level 3 of the Plan for Living with Covid-19. Level 3 involves a greater level of restrictions on people and society – particularly on our hospitality sector. It is being accompanied with stronger compliance measures.

If we all change our behaviours and work together we can make Level 3 work, protect lives and livelihoods, show that we can contain the virus and prevent its growth.

The reopening of our schools has shown what can be done with collective effort and compliance with safety guidance and sensible measures. As a result, the mental, educational and physical well-being of our nation’s children has been protected and enhanced. Keeping our schools open remains a key priority of government – to ensure that the life chances of our young people will not be impaired.

An unprecedented level of resources have been allocated to the health services, both in the Winter Plan and throughout the entirety of 2021. This will enable them to cope with Covid-19, and will ensure a reformed and better health service for the future.

Covid-19 is challenging countries across Europe and throughout the world. The coming weeks will be challenging but working with NPHET, we will respond firmly and appropriately. We have the capacity and resources to come through this and we will.

The essential steps remain the same. Reduce our social contacts, wash our hands, mask up and behave as if you have the virus. Stay safe.

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