News & Media

Certainty needed for people in Dublin on Covid measures

16 September 2020

Statement by Alan Kelly TD
Party Leader and Spokesperson on Health and Disability Services
AlanK
  • Comprehensive and clear communications needed from Government

After failing to get any further clarity at Leader’s Questions from the Taoiseach, Labour Leader Alan Kelly said the government needs to give certainty and clarity to the people of Dublin on what actions they can or can’t take, after repeatedly asking the Taoiseach to address what the guidance is for those travelling out of, or into the county is.

Deputy Kelly said:

“I support the long term plan for Covid, and the Labour Party supports this plan, but I am really at a loss over the lack of clear communications on the new Dublin restrictions. I don’t understand why the Taoiseach didn’t come to the opposition in advance and tell us they were not ready to launch the five levels, and that they wanted to align with NPHET advice instead of allowing a hybrid situation for Dublin.

“I know I am not alone in not knowing what to tell people in Dublin when they ask for guidance. I know people who are going to weddings outside Dublin who don’t know whether to attend. I have a coach operator in my own constituency who employs 14 people who can’t go back on the PUP payment. His bookings are for the West of Ireland and most of the people are from Dublin and they need to know whether to go.

“The Taoiseach repeatedly refused to definitively tell me whether the people of Dublin should go to weddings or go to hotels outside the capital. These people need clarity and certainty now in order to make necessary decisions.

“The Government also need to come out with a communications plan. Most infections are coming from people under the age of 45. I am asking the Taoiseach to put in place a plan across social media and into every household. I welcome that he confirmed to me that a leaflet will be issued to every household about the new living with Covid plan. However, a leaflet alone will not suffice, and Government need to develop a plan across Social Media targeted specifically at people under the age of 45.

“The people of Dublin need certainty, there are too many grey areas within this plan and unfortunately the Taoiseach did not add any clarity when I challenged him today. We all want to support this plan, but we need absolute certainty as to where everyone stands in order to do that.”