24 May 2022

Laois Sinn Féin TD criticises new Covid -19 restrictions as 'contradictory'

Laois Sinn Féin TD criticises new Covid -19 restrictions as 'contradictory'

Laois Sinn Féin TD criticises new Covid -19 restrictions as 'contradictory'

A Laois Sinn Féin TD has criticised the latest Government measures to deal with the Covid emergency, calling them 'contradictory, incoherent and in some cases inadequate'.

Laois/Offaly TD Brian Stanley said the latest measures announced by the Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and Green Government 'are not fit for purpose' and don’t address a number of key issues relating to schools, workplaces, transport and sports and leisure.

He said the number one priority must be to prevent another major lockdown across the State and to protect human life.

READ NEXT: NPHET propose to lift localised lockdown for Laois and Offaly

He added, "for example the Coalition have refused to make it compulsory for the Health and Safety Authority  (HSA) to be notified of an outbreak in workplaces, a measure which trade unions have called for and which would protect vulnerable workers. Also the latest batch of measures does not contain anything new for the meat and food processing sector, which has proved to be a high risk area for Covid clusters."

He also said the announcement that capacity school buses carrying secondary school children will now be halved is 'coming at the eleventh hour' for schools and bus operators and leaves little time to make provisions for extra buses and social distancing. He said this will present a 'major challenge at such a late stage' and should have been decided on much earlier.

He continued, "sports clubs are now facing a crisis due to the illogical decision to not allow any spectators to attend outdoor games and events. While its sensible not to allow large crowds to attend, limited attendance at outdoor events where strict measures are in place should be allowed. It makes no sense that up to 50 people can attend an indoor event, but  two people cannot watch a game at O'Moore Park in Portlaoise or O'Connor Park in Tullamore, both of which have a normal capacity for tens of thousands.

"The divisions between the various personalities at the heart of this Government are reflected in these latest measures. We are calling on Taoiseach Michael Martin to recognise these realities and to put in place effective measures to suppress this virus and to keep the economy moving," Deputy Stanley concluded.

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