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7/5, 3:55 PM (Source: TeleTrader)
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Ireland may return mask mandate in winter - deputy PM

Ireland plans to run an extensive COVID-19 vaccine campaign amid worries that the coronavirus could resurge during the winter, which could lead to the reintroduction of mask mandates ''in certain settings,'' Deputy Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said on Tuesday. The minister also noted that he expects to get full support for this booster program from the expert committee.

"I'm more concerned about the next wave which will come in the winter, because that will happen when we're indoors more and it might come at the same time as the flu. We haven't really had a serious flu season since 2019," he told national broadcaster RTE, adding that even though he does not think business closure would happen this year, ''nobody can rule that out for sure.''

Earlier, Taoiseach Micheal Martin has also not ruled out the reimposition of COVID-related restrictions this winter, saying that he believes Ireland has ''moved out of the emergency phase.'' Ireland has registered around 1.6 million cases and 7,467 deaths since the start of the pandemic, while approximately 81% of the population got two shots and 81.9% were vaccinated with only one shot so far.

Baha Breaking News (BBN) / MM