I have written to the Taoiseach and the Minister for Health urging them to remove all Covid restrictions by the end of January, as hospital and ICU figures have remained stable as a result of high levels of vaccination and natural immunity.
Hospitality businesses should now be allowed to operate as normal & the use of the covid pass should be abandoned.
The ICU numbers since omicron was first detected here have consistently declined, despite hundreds of thousands of infections in just a few short weeks. We now have stable hospital admission rates, a drop in community test positivity percentage and all of this means that it is likely that the Omicron wave has peaked here already.
I agree with the Minister for Health, who said last week that Covid-19 restrictions must only remain in place if there is a strong public health rationale for them. With Omicron, there is no rationale for continuing with the restrictions. Despite record high case numbers driven by the Omicron variant, hospital and critical care figures have remained stable as a result of high levels of vaccination and natural immunity.
Restrictions have come at a huge cost to society and we will be dealing with the negative consequences from these restrictions for years to come. Blanket restrictions should be lifted and replaced by guidelines in order for each individual to be responsible for their own protection from the virus.
All of the current restrictions have been overtaken by acquired immunity due to infection and vaccination and the arrival of Omicron.
Small businesses have endured significant hardship over the past two years and I believe that hospitality businesses should now be allowed to operate as normal.
I have been consistently against the use of covid passes and now given the high rates of transmission of Covid among people who are vaccinated and the falling numbers of people who are hospitalised due to Covid, the use of the covid pass should be abandoned immediately. There is no science behind retaining this discriminatory measure.
The Irish people have endured some of the longest lockdowns and restrictions in all of Europe and these restrictions on people’s individual freedoms and liberties now need to end in their entirety. We need to follow the lead of Spain and start dealing with Covid as an endemic disease rather than a pandemic. In the wake of Omicron, we need to treat it like a common flu.
It is time that we as a society learn to live with Covid and for the State to allow people to take their own personal responsibility, to exercise common sense according to their own circumstances. One person might not be comfortable going into a busy shop or availing of indoor hospitality and that should be left to the individual to decide on what suits them best. With the vast majority now vaccinated or recovered from covid, we have to reopen society fully and let people live their lives again.