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Taoiseach says two metre social distancing will not be reduced

Ministers will be briefed by chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan next week.

TAOISEACH LEO VARADKAR has said there will be no change to the two-metre social distancing guidelines.

Some ministers had advocated reducing the social distancing to one metre in line with what the World Health Organization (WHO) has deemed to be safe.

However, Varadkar poured cold water on the idea today and said that the current guidelines will remain in place. Many people, in Ireland and across Europe, want the reduction in social distancing as they believe that it will have a positive impact on the economy and allow many businesses to reopen.

Ministers will be briefed by chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan next week, as happened previously, to answer their questions and hear their views on general public health advice.

It is understood that there were bigger concerns raised at Cabinet about the travel form and mandatory isolation – which is to be discussed next week.

Health Minister Simon Harris announced this week that it will be mandatory for anyone who arrives to this country through airports and ports to sign a Public Health Passenger Locator form and they’ll be asked to self-isolate for 14 days.

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New regulations set to take effect from Thursday 28 May will provide for fines of up to €2,500 or up to six months’ imprisonment for those who refuse to comply.

With reporting by Christina Finn

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