With dramatic Level 5 U-turn, Government weakens its own authority

There must now be a question of whether the schools remain open, a key test for Coalition

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has announced that the entire country will move to level 5 for a period of six weeks. The new restrictions will take effect at midnight on Wednesday and remain in place until December 1. Video: RTE

It’s one hell of a U-turn, whatever way you look at it.

Twice in the past two weeks the Government received advice from its public health experts to return to lockdown, or near-lockdown, conditions. Twice the Government said: not now. Let’s give the existing restrictions time to work. Let’s encourage people to improve their compliance. We have to think of the wider needs and health of society.

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