Taoiseach Micheál Martin has stated that the National Public Health Emergency Team’s (NPHET) role is to be examined as the state emerges from the emergency response phase of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Martin said that Ireland will be entering a “new era” of the pandemic.
There have been reports that NPHET will be disbanded next month, however, Martin said that public health advice “will always be central to the Government approach to Covid-19” but it’s currently looking for the best way to “transition into normalcy in terms of how Government works.”
Martin went on to state, “From my perspective as a former minister for health, public health advice is critical and the chief medical officer leads that and will continue to lead that,”.
In regards to the current Covid-19 situation, Martin said that decisions still remain as to how Ireland will transition from what has been an emergency for a long period of time, into a more normal environment.
In terms of reopening certain sectors, Martin clarified that the sporting sector is not being favoured over live entertainment while noting that the key issue with Electric Picnic was that it didn’t receive planning permission.
“That said our objective is to reopen. We want people to play music again. Of course we do. We want people to go to theatre again in good numbers and I think we can do that quickly in terms of the vaccinated to go back in to theatres.”