Written answers

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Department of An Taoiseach

Covid-19 Pandemic

Photo of Thomas ByrneThomas Byrne (Meath East, Fianna Fail)
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7. To ask the Taoiseach the number of persons from outside the house allowed to travel in one car. [6478/20]

Photo of Leo VaradkarLeo Varadkar (Taoiseach, Department of An Taoiseach; Dublin West, Fine Gael)
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The current public health advice states that we should stay at home in all circumstances, except in the following situations:

- to travel to and from work, if your work cannot be carried out from home

- to shop for essential food and household goods

- to attend medical appointments and collect medicines

- for vital family reasons, such as providing care to children, elderly or vulnerable people - but excluding social family visits

- for farming purposes - that is food production or care of animals

- to engage in physical exercise within 5 kilometres of home, adhering to 2 metre social distancing

- to meet with friends or family within 5 kilometres in groups of no more than 4, adhering to 2 metre social distancing

- to escape domestic violence

Therefore there are limited situations where it would be necessary for a person to make a car journey with someone from outside their household. To the greatest extent possible, people should not mix with others from outside their household except as permitted in small groups, outdoors, maintaining social distancing. However, there may be circumstances where a car journey may be necessary with someone from outside your household. In such circumstances the latest public health advices including handwashing and respiratory hygiene should be followed at all times.

For those who are cocooning who wish to go for a short drive within 5km, HSE advises that you should only share the journey with someone who is also cocooning in your home and no one else.

Marian Harkin (Sligo-Leitrim, Independent)
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8. To ask the Taoiseach if consideration is being given to lifting Covid-19 restrictions on a county basis or by province subject to and in line with all advice from the NPHET. [6488/20]

Photo of Leo VaradkarLeo Varadkar (Taoiseach, Department of An Taoiseach; Dublin West, Fine Gael)
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The Roadmap, and the Principles of Approach to reducing measures set out therein, states that ideally a ‘whole-of-country-approach will be taken, however it also includes potential for a differentiated geographical approach depending on circumstances.

Under the framework, Government will decide what restrictions to ease, at what point in time, having regard to the public health advice of the Department of Health as well as other social and economic considerations.

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