Dáil debates

Thursday, 21 May 2020

Covid-19 (Health): Statements


6:45 pm

Richard O'Donoghue (Limerick County, Independent)

Some taxis are open for business with health guidelines and for multiple passengers. Driving instructors and testers would have a maximum of eight people in their vehicle daily. There needs to be some easing of restrictions in this regard. One solution could be for instructors to use only their own cars, which are Road Safety Authority, RSA, compliant, and for regulations to be put in place that all instructors abide by the hygiene standards laid down by the RSA. Many instructors' cars have antibacterial seat covers and cars can be sanitised if necessary after every lesson. Machines for sanitising vehicles in a ten-minute cycle cost between €400 and €500. Maybe an incentive could be used to fund or partially fund this cost. Instructors could also operate a dual control system while wearing masks and gloves. They have the use of a hand-held thermometer. They are being told, however, that there can be no driving lessons or testing until social distancing restrictions no longer apply. It is mandatory for a student studying to be a paramedic to hold a C1 driving licence. That licence has now been deferred for 12 months due to Covid-19 but it is mandatory to hold a full car licence for paramedic training. A person who does not hold a full licence cannot take up a paramedic training course in college and this course cannot be deferred. Once again, it is front-line workers who are affected. We need to ease some of the restrictions in that area.


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