Health Minister Simon Harris has said he fears that complacency could be setting in regarding our battle against Covid-19.

In a video address on Twitter, he warned that thinking 'ah sure we're going well in Ireland, I can take my foot off the pedal' would be "disastrous ... it could potentially be fatal".

Mr Harris said: "I have a little bit of fear about some complacency setting in with our battle against Covid-19. I am hearing stories of people beginning to somewhat relax their interpretation of the phrase 'stay at home' or the 2km rule or the physical distancing 2 metre rule.

"I need to appeal to you to really, really not do that. My message tonight is do not allow complacency to set in. That would be disastrous. It could potentially be fatal."

The Health Minister thanked the public for flattening the curve but added that "our progress is fragile, we are at a very delicate moment and it would not take much for that to be reversed.

"I can’t have a situation where all the amazing work the public has done is undone in these two weeks so please, please, please stay home. That is how we are going to stay lives.

"Now is not the time for complacency, let’s get through these next two weeks and that will then enable us to get to a situation where we’ll be able to look at where we’re at, and consider what next for Ireland."
 

Mr Harris said: "I don't expect a light switch moment on 5 May where the restrictions in place are suddenly reversed. We're going to have this virus with us for a long time."

He admitted the impact of restrictions was hard on a human level. "I know it’s tough. My mother is cocooning because of an underlying condition and I really miss her, I think she misses me too as I have not seen her for weeks.

"When this time over I don’t think we will ever take the basics for granted again, like being with family and friends. We are doing this to keep everybody safe, especially those who are vulnerable.

"It’s an awful lot better than the alternative - absolute devastation - with overwhelmed ICUs and hospitals and an awful lot more deaths.

"Let's keep going and make these two weeks count."

Earlier, Mr Harris was reported as saying that he would love to see schools reopen, even in a partial capacity. But in his Twitter video he stressed this was just a personal hope and that any reopening of schools would only take place if public health experts deemed it safe to do so.