Thursday, 17 December 2020
Ceisteanna ó Cheannairí - Leaders' Questions
I, too, want to wish everyone a happy Christmas and a safe 2021. This Christmas will be challenging for all of us and while I welcome the lifting of the more stringent restrictions on family visits due to come into effect this week, I ask that we be very careful in our messaging. Now is a good time to encourage the fast-tracking of the Loneliness Taskforce's five principal actions. There is an urgency to see these actions implemented due to Covid-19. Alone reports an increase in the number of callers reporting negative emotions over the past six months, with many people recording feelings of loneliness and social isolation. When we tell people that they must continue to restrict visits and only allow visits from three households, we must be cognisant of those living alone with nobody to restrict from calling. I ask everyone to reach out to our elderly in particular this Christmas, in a very safe manner, and do what we can to help them.