The effects of the long St Patrick's weekend are yet to be seen on Ireland's Covid figures, according to a Consultant in Emergency Medicine at Connolly Hospital in Dublin.
However, Dr Emily O'Connor added that "thankfully the weather was very good so most people were outdoors". Speaking on Today with Claire Byrne, she warned that a wet Easter weekend with people celebrating indoors could "well cause problems".
Dr O’Connor added that if a return to mask-wearing could bring this wave of Covid to an end sooner rather than later, then it would be a minor inconvenience for people.
She added that she has worked some of the worst shifts of her career in the last few weeks and that she, and a number of colleagues, have recently contracted the virus. "The problem is that four out of six of us consultants in Connolly and emergency medicine caught Covid last week," Dr O’Connor said. "I can't begin to tell you how much that decimates a system which can't reduce its inflow of patients." Dr O'Connor added that GPs have also been overwhelmed with Covid care and patients are reporting difficulties in gaining access to their GP in a timely fashion.