Six more weeks of severe restrictions on social interaction are needed to avoid a fourth wave of COVID by the summer.
That's according to the Acting Chief Medical Officer who's been appearing at an Oireachtas committee.
Dr Ronan Glynn gave a cautious but hopeful opening statement to the Oireachtas Health Committee in the last hour.
He said there is a considerable risk of a fourth wave of COVID by the summer if restrictions are eased too quickly.
Dr Glynn said they're modelling suggests the country needs 6 more weeks of severe limitations on social interaction to give the vaccination programme time to catch up and protect the vulnerable.
He told TDs and Senators if the number of people socialising remains as it currently is, that dreaded fourth wave can be avoided.
NPHET will continue to keep a close eye on the re-opening of schools, construction and the easing of travel restrictions that began yesterday ahead of a re-assessment towards the end of the month.
As focus in the Department of Health and the HSE today turns to how to implement the latest advice on AstraZeneca without slowing down the overall roll-out, Dr Glynn urged people to hold the line over the coming weeks.
He added his hope was that NPHET would never again have to recommend more restrictive measures.