Analysis: To back Nphet or the coalition? That is the question for the opposition

TDs of all parties seem to be of the view that the call to move to level 5 restrictions was extreme, but that leaves them in the awkward position of supporting the government’s decision

Leo Varadkar, the then Taoiseach, pictured alongside Tony Holohan, the chief medical officer, in March of this year. The now Tánaiste was strongly critical of Nphet‘s calll to move the entire country to level 5 Covid-19 restrictions.

The Taoiseach and Tánaiste are likely to closely follow the latest news of a cluster of 31 Covid-19 cases in a Portlaoise nursing home.

Apart from the seriousness of the breakout itself, both Micheál Martin and Leo Varadkar must know their dramatic decision to reject the National Public Health Emergency Team’s (Nphet) advice to raise the entire country to level 5 restrictions, would be difficult to defend if case numbers were to start to spiral ...