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Advisory group wants border buffer zone to tackle Covid spread

Jan 25, 2021 08:01 By News Northern Sound
Advisory group wants border buffer zone to tackle Covid spread Advisory group wants border buffer zone to tackle Covid spread
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Longer local lockdowns in border counties and a "buffer zone" could be used to restrict movement and control Covid-19 if the Government won't

Longer local lockdowns in border counties and a "buffer zone" could be used to restrict movement and control Covid-19 if the Government won't seal the frontier.

It's part of a plan being suggested to the government by a group of scientists to allow Ireland impose stricter public health controls than the UK.

The Taoiseach's already said the government is "not in a position to seal the entire border" with the North and the Northern Executive has a "different perspective" on quarantining travellers coming in from Britain.

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The Independent Scientific Advocacy Group, which includes leading public health experts who've long called for a "zero covid" strategy, has written to the government with a possible solution.

A "red zone" in border areas with high levels of infection would be surrounded by a "buffer zone" between ten and thirty kilometres wide, with graduated travel restrictions.

Geographer Julien Mercille from UCD - one of the report's authors - says the plan could be enough to avoid sealing the border itself and it's based on discussions with senior officials in Australia. There entire states have gone weeks without any local transmission of the virus in the community.

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The cabinet subcommittee on the pandemic will meet later today to discuss the way ahead.

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