Friday, 27 March 2020
An Bille um Bearta Éigeandála ar mhaithe le Leas an Phobail (Covid-19) 2020: Céim an Choiste agus na Céimeanna a bheidh Fágtha - Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (Covid-19) Bill 2020: Committee and Remaining Stages
You are doing a remarkable job in your last day as Cathaoirleach in this session. You do not have to correct yourself often at all.
I suggest that the provision in Senator Horkan's amendment probably will not apply because most of these businesses will be non-essential and would probably be closed in any event. Therefore, what would be required in terms of obligations for opening times would be non-applicable.
Senator Craughwell made observations on non-essential businesses. I have to agree with him. I would not consider health food shops necessarily essential businesses. Some luxury food shops remain open. Again, I would not consider them to be essential businesses. There may be situations of confined spaces. These may be small specialist luxurious food outlets operating in a confined space. With the best will in the world I do not believe they would be able to adhere to social distancing requirements. We cannot dot all the i's and cross all the t's and there has to be some buy-in. I reckon 99.9% are absolutely buying in. I would encourage those who are not to do so.