Written answers

Thursday, 17 December 2020

Department of Rural and Community Development

Covid-19 Pandemic

Paul Donnelly (Dublin West, Sinn Fein)
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674. To ask the Minister for Rural and Community Development if a clear information pack will be made available for service users of community centres on the impact of Covid-19 restrictions on their particular sector. [44459/20]

Photo of Heather HumphreysHeather Humphreys (Cavan-Monaghan, Fine Gael)
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Public health guidance has been issued by Government, the HSE, the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HSPC), the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) and others. This guidance should be carefully considered and should form the basis for any COVID-19 related plans.

Further guidance for the community and voluntary sector has been developed by my Department in conjunction with Pobal to help them with reopening, and this is available here:

If community centres run by volunteers have paid workers on their premises, they should follow the Return to Work Safely Protocol which is on the following link:

. The employer is responsible for putting in place control measures, in consultation with a worker representative.

In cases where all involved are unpaid volunteers, and therefore the Health and Safety Authority would not have a role, a responsible person within the organisation should put in place appropriate measures before reopening.

As each facility and activity is different, there is an emphasis on personal responsibility and the need for people and organisations to exercise judgement in their activities. My Department encourages community and voluntary groups, regardless of the activity that they are involved in, to consider how the published information applies to them, and to put in place the appropriate measures when opening facilities to service users.

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