Written answers

Tuesday, 16 June 2020

Department of An Taoiseach

Covid-19 Pandemic

Patricia Ryan (Kildare South, Sinn Fein)
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1. To ask the Taoiseach if a proposal will be brought to Cabinet for a national day of mourning including a paid public holiday in memory of the victims of Covid-19. [10607/20]

Photo of Leo VaradkarLeo Varadkar (Taoiseach, Department of An Taoiseach; Dublin West, Fine Gael)
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My heartfelt sympathies are with all those who have lost family members or friends during the Covid-19 pandemic. The restrictions which have been necessary in order to protect public health have impacted greatly on how we as societies, as communities and as families mark the death of a loved one. In particular we miss the opportunity to come together to remember those we have lost.

It is not possible with these current restrictions to organise an appropriate national commemoration. When the time is right there will be an opportunity for us nationally to remember those who died during this difficult time. The format which this might take and the timing of such an event is under consideration. In the meantime families who wish to can share with the nation details of their deceased loved ones through the Ireland Remembers initiative.

Photo of Micheál MartinMicheál Martin (Leader of the Opposition; Cork South Central, Fianna Fail)
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2. To ask the Taoiseach his views on whether there will be scope to narrow the time between phases 4 and 5 of the Roadmap for Reopening Society and Business if all the five health indicators are positive. [10640/20]

Photo of Leo VaradkarLeo Varadkar (Taoiseach, Department of An Taoiseach; Dublin West, Fine Gael)
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Thanks to the progress made by the Irish people in suppressing the virus, on Friday 5 June, the Government agreed to accelerate the Roadmap for Reopening Society and Business.

This means certain sectors and public amenities will be able to reopen earlier than previously planned. The reconfigured Roadmap will consist of four phases, instead of five, with Phase 3 beginning on 29 June and Phase 4 on 20 July. Work is underway to determine what can open in each phase.

However, maintaining a three week interval between phases is important for epidemiological reasons to accurately monitor any impacts the easing of restrictions may have on the behaviour of the virus.

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