Monday, March 01, 2021

The revised plan for Living with Covid-19 is an opportunity for a reset in Government communications, according to Leo Varadkar.

The Irish Examiner reports that the Tánaiste has written to each representative in his parliamentary party to say that he took “on board fully the reasoned criticisms about communications”.

It comes after Government sources said that discontent over the handling of the Covid-19 pandemic had been stoked by mixed messaging from the Taoiseach and Tánaiste.

The letter was sent to party representatives along with a copy of the new Government Living with Covid plan.

Sources within Fine Gael said it had been received as “a two fingers” to criticism of Government communications at last week’s parliamentary party meeting.

“Communication is a job for all of us and, with this plan, there is no reason for any of us to be ‘off message’ for the next few months,” Mr Varadkar wrote.

The letter then details five talking points for Fine Gael TDs and senators, including a focus on reopening schools, childcare and pre-schools in March.

Restrictions and vaccines

Mr Varadkar wrote that there would be little easing of Covid-19 restrictions until the end of April at the earliest.

“In the run-up to Easter, if we continue on the current trajectory in terms of falling cases and reduced pressure on our hospitals, consideration will be given to the following changes on April 5; relaxation of the 5km rule, re-opening construction, click & collect and allowing more outdoor activity to take place,” he wrote.

“No further easing of restrictions will be considered until end of April or early May.”

Mr Varadkar added that the vaccine programme will be accelerated in the coming months, with up to 300,000 vaccines administered per week in April.

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