Covid-19: Public urged to socialise ‘safely’ over Easter weekend

Department of Health says it is ‘important’ to be mindful of the vulnerable ahead of bank holiday

A further 2,259 people have registered a positive antigen test through the HSE portal, latest figures show. File photograph: Rungroj Yongrit/EPA

The public has been urged to continue to take Covid-19 precautions amid an expected surge in socialising over the forthcoming Easter bank holiday weekend.

The Department of Health issued the call in a statement on Thursday, saying it was "important" to socialise safely and "maintain our focus on protecting those most vulnerable to the severe effects of Covid-19, as well as ourselves".

It said its advice was to meet up outdoors if possible. When meeting indoors, avoid poorly ventilated spaces and keep windows open, the department said.

It reiterated that mask-wearing was advised on public transport and in healthcare settings, adding that “anyone who wishes to wear a mask should not be discouraged from doing so”.

READ MORE

It advised individuals who are particularly vulnerable to consider wearing a mask in crowded indoor settings like indoor social gatherings or similar events.

Also on Thursday, the latest daily case figures for new Covid-19 infections showed another 1,936 PCR-confirmed cases of Covid-19 have been reported in the State, while a further 2,259 people have registered a positive antigen test through the HSE portal.

As of 8am on Thursday, there were 904 Covid-19 patients in hospital, of whom 57 were in ICU.

The reporting of the daily new case figures by the Department of Health is to now be paused amid the bank holiday weekend, and will resume on Tuesday, April 19th.

Meanwhile, the deaths of a further five patients who had previously recently tested positive for Covid-19 have been reported in Northern Ireland.

The North’s Department of Health has also reported another 791 cases of the virus in its latest 24-hour reporting period. On Thursday morning there were 460 Covid-positive patients in the North’s hospitals, of whom four were in intensive care. Additional reporting: PA