Written answers

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation

Farmers Markets

Photo of Aindrias MoynihanAindrias Moynihan (Cork North West, Fianna Fail)
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561. To ask the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation if consideration will be given to reopening farmers’ markets to be permitted by implementing the specific measures outlined in a document (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [5786/20]

Photo of Heather HumphreysHeather Humphreys (Cavan-Monaghan, Fine Gael)
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The Government’s Roadmap for Reopening Society and Business sets out five stages for unlocking the restrictions put in place to contain the Coronavirus, at three week intervals. The Roadmap sets out how we can keep the level of transmission of COVID-19 as low as possible while balancing continuing restrictions in proportion with the positive social and economic benefits which will be brought about by businesses reopening.  It is important to note that all decisions taken by Government on the timing of any lifting of restrictions will be guided by the public health advice at the time.

As the Deputy will be aware, on 15 May the Government announced that we would move to Phase 1 of the Roadmap from Monday May 18. This is in line with advice received from the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET). The categories of workers, list of retailers and other facilities that can re-open under Phase 1 are available on the Government’s website gov.ie.

The Roadmap provides that shops that are mainly outdoors can reopen in Phase 1 so long as social distancing measures can be put in place.  Farmers markets’ are among the examples of outdoor shops in the Roadmap.

I can assure the Deputy that  this Government is doing everything in its power to get businesses ready to reopen and trade again, to get people back to work and to get the economy re-started as the restrictions are gradually lifted.

It is clear that the restrictions are having a very positive effect in combating the spread of COVID-19.  However, extreme vigilance will be required until a vaccine, effective treatment or prophylaxis is found, and that might be some time away.

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