Lockdown Forever! Health Minister May Reintroduce Forced Mask-Wearing

A woman walks by a mural in Dublin's city centre. On Thursday, November 19, 2020, in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Ireland’s pro-lockdown health minister has said that he may reintroduce forced mask-wearing lockdown measures ostensibly to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Stephen Donnelly, Ireland’s pro-lockdown Minister for Health, has said that he may reintroduce forced mask-wearing ostensibly to curb the spread of the Chinese coronavirus, telling the public to “never say never” in regards to the restrictions.

According to a report by the Irish Independent, Donnelly warned that forced mask-wearing in shops and public transport may be reintroduced if deemed necessary by Irish state mandarins.

“You couldn’t rule that out,” the minister told the publication on Sunday. “It’s not where we’re at, but you can never say never.”

While the Fianna Fáil minister noted that he was not receiving such recommendations to reintroduce the measure as of yet, his admission that such lockdown restrictions could come back into force arise shortly after the country’s Deputy PM, Leo Varadkar, expressed concern about Ireland’s COVID case numbers.

“[The] Number of people in hospital who are positive for COVID has risen above 300. ICU cases rising too,” Varadkar wrote on social media. “Could be a blip. Could be start of a summer wave.”

“Immunity is waning though for sure,” he went on to write. “Please get your booster if you haven’t.”

The notion that Irish officials could soon enough reintroduce forced mask-wearing comes as their counterparts in the fellow EU state of Germany have reportedly begun to actively plan the reintroduction of the measure on an annual basis every winter.

The country’s lockdown-loving health minister, Karl Lauterbach, has compared such a measure to rules mandating the use of winter tires between October and Easter.

“These rules can also be summarized that these will be our winter tires,” Lauterbach said, emphasising that he and his associates were preparing the rules for another lockdown planned for Autumn.

In the meantime, the EU has moved to renew its system of COVID passports — limiting the ability to travel without a negative test for many people who have not been vaccinated against the coronavirus — for another year.

Justifying the renewal, EU officials have said that they want to keep the health document system in place “in case it is needed” until 2023.

The extension will now be put to a final vote on June 23.

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