Thursday, 21 May 2020
Covid-19 (Taoiseach): Statements
Leo Varadkar (Taoiseach, Department of An Taoiseach; Dublin West, Fine Gael)
On the Deputy's first question, I do not have that date but I will see if we can find that out for him.
The answer to the Deputy's second question is "No, absolutely not."
On the Deputy's third question, I would have to give the matter consideration but I am not sure it is practical. It is not the approach we take in healthcare, for example, or in many parts of the public service. If somebody tests positive, we do not shut down the hospital in question, the Dáil or wherever. I am not sure we would apply to meat plants that approach of shutting everything down if one person tests positive while testing everyone in his or her family. That is not an approach we have applied anywhere else that I am aware of and it is not one we would apply in the Houses of the Oireachtas. The answer to the Deputy's question, therefore, is probably "No" but I will ask for some guidance on that from the public health authorities.
On the Deputy's fourth question, the rules that apply to people who work in meat factories are the rules that apply to everyone else. If anyone is required to take time off to self-isolate, he or she qualifies for the pandemic illness benefit payment of €350 per week.