Minister for Health acknowledges difficulty of being kept apart but says alternative is worse

Members of the public should continue following Covid-19 restrictions as complacency could lead to disastrous and potentially fatal outcomes, Minister for Health Simon Harris has said.
In a video posted on Twitter, Mr Harris called on people to continue staying at home and underlined that any progress made so far was fragile.
Theres an air of complacency creeping in in relation to Irelands battle against Covid-19 and we have to push back against it, he said.
Were at a very delicate moment and it would not take much for that to be reversed. Im hearing stories of people beginning to somewhat relax their interpretation of the phrase stay at home or the 2km rule and I really need to appeal to you not to do that.
Do not allow complacency set in. Do not allow us to say ah sure were going well in Ireland and I can let the foot off the pedal. That would be disastrous. It could potentially be fatal.
Mr Harris acknowledged that being separated from loved ones was difficult, adding that he had not seen his own mother for weeks.
I really miss her and I think she misses me too Its the simple things you miss, and the simple things that we all miss and perhaps take for granted I think when this time is over I dont think well ever take those things for granted again.
The Minister said being separated from family and friends at this time is much better that the alternative of overwhelmed intensive care units (ICUs), packed hospitals and significantly higher rates of coronavirus related deaths.
We cant let that happen so lets keep at it and lets make these two weeks count.
Mr Harris warned that the battle against Covid-19 would go on for a long time and that he did not expect a light switch moment on May 5th when restrictions could suddenly be reversed.
While he would like to see schools reopen, he underlined that this would only happen when public health experts confirm it is safe to do so.
I know that its hard for kids being off school, its hard for parents too. I know its hard from a mental health point of view or wellbeing point of view. But let me be really clear, we wont be relaxing any rules until public health doctors think its a good idea.
Mr Harris said the testing of residents and staff in care institutions would be the priority for this week.
He said he would speak with his European counterparts by teleconference on Monday to share updates on how efforts to tackle the virus are going across the European Union. A Cabinet meeting will also be held by the Taoiseach to discuss ongoing efforts to curb the spread of the virus in Ireland, he said.