Minister for Children Roderic O'Gorman has said he was a "little bit surprised" there was no recommendation for further country-wide restrictions from the National Public Health Emergency Team after its meeting on Thursday of last week given the rise in numbers of cases of Covid-19.  

He said he was even more surprised to hear of a potential for Level 5 restrictions on Sunday evening when the story broke on the RTÉ Nine O'Clock News. 

Speaking to the Your Politics podcast, the Green Party TD for Dublin West said it has been a "hectic couple of months" from the General Election to lockdown to Government negotiations.

The Podcast is available to download here on AppleSpotify and Google through the RTÉ Player, through Stitcher or download it here.

Minister O'Gorman said it is unfair young people have been "scape-goated" recently for some of their social behaviour. "This idea that numbers (of Covid-19) are spiking just because of young people - that's not okay".

Regarding the Government's promise to end Direct Provision, he said moving away from congregated settings as a way of housing people in Direct Provision will take a while. 

He said people understand that, but that he is confident it will happen over the course of this Government.

Mr O'Gorman said there are other issues for the thousands of people living in Direct Provision that he says can be dealt with sooner, such as access to driving licences and vulnerability assessments for people when they arrive here.

He said work has begun on the white paper on the "new vision" for Direct Provision and Catherine Day's report will be presented at Cabinet the week after next.

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