Written answers

Wednesday, 21 April 2021

Photo of Colm BurkeColm Burke (Cork North Central, Fine Gael)
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1881. To ask the Minister for Health if his Department will give consideration to permitting gyms to open for rehabilitation patients for those under the care of a general practitioner or a physiotherapist; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19223/21]

Photo of Stephen DonnellyStephen Donnelly (Wicklow, Fianna Fail)
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Significant progress has been made on suppressing the virus over recent months due to the huge effort of our citizens. By working together, we have saved lives and limited the impact of the disease on society in Ireland. The most recent advice from the NPHET however is that Level 5 measures, subject to a slight easing, remain necessary given disease incidence remains high, the dominance of the more transmissible B.1.1.7 variant and the fact that the R value is close to one. These measures are aimed at limiting the spread and damage of COVID-19 and are necessary to protect our key priorities of supporting and maintaining health and social care services, keeping education and childcare services open and protecting the most vulnerable members of our communities.

The Government announced an initial easing of restrictions within Level 5 from 12 April in recognition of the significant impact that the extended period of Level 5 restrictions is having on people. The focus of this easing of measures is on enabling more outdoor activities in order to improve the health and wellbeing of society. Furthermore, from 26 April, maximum attendance at funerals will increase to 25.

The situation will be subject to ongoing review taking account of the evolving epidemiological situation, the impact of the reopening of priority services, and available evidence in relation to vaccine deployment, uptake and effectiveness. The NPHET and the Government will consider the position again at the end of this month and it is anticipated that a roadmap for the further easing of measures over the coming months will be agreed. This will include consideration of the reopening of gyms and other leisure facilities.


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