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08th Jun 2020

Harris: ‘Great day for our country’ but it’s a marathon, not a race

Sarah Finnan

Simon Harris

Saying that he thinks “this is a great day for our country”, Minister for Health Simon Harris has urged people to continue the good work so that Ireland can continue moving forward.

The country is moving into phase 2 of the Government’s roadmap for easing lockdown restrictions this morning, with An Taoiseach Leo Vardkar updating the public on what to expect going forward. A number of changes were made to the original roadmap, including current travel restrictions which now allow people to travel anywhere within their own county or 20km from home (whichever is further).

Speaking on radio this morning, Minister for Health Simon Harris said that today is “a really good day” – one that we were “not guaranteed to get to”. Urging people to keep up the good work so that the good day becomes a good week, a good month and a good year, he reminded the public that “the issue of our own personal behaviour becomes more important than ever”.

Issuing advice as to how best to handle the easing of restrictions going forward, Minister Harris said that the key is to keep our close contacts small. Encouraging people to keep a list of the close contacts they do meet up with, he also reiterated the importance of maintaining proper handwashing techniques.

Speaking on the possibility of having to reimpose restrictions, the Health Minister said that “thankfully the trajectory is low”, confirming that the situation is being closely monitored and will be reviewed by NPHET once again in the coming weeks. Adding that it’s a marathon, not a race, Harris said that living with the virus is something that we have to “proceed with caution”.

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