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Covid-19 Pandemic

Dáil Éireann Debate, Wednesday - 4 November 2020

Wednesday, 4 November 2020

Questions (126)

Pádraig O'Sullivan


126. Deputy Pádraig O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) will be allowed to trade; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34000/20]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

Firstly, I would like to assure you that the Government is committed to ensuring a balanced and proportionate response to COVID-19 by finding ways to implement public health measures in response to the pandemic in a way that is fair, reasonable and proportionate.

As you will be aware, in response to the rapidly deteriorating epidemiological situation across the country, Ireland has moved to level 5 of the Government’s medium-term strategy for dealing with COVID-19, Resilience and Recovery 2020-2021: Plan for Living with COVID-19

This 5 level Framework reflects a careful consideration of the impact of the introduction of restrictions on employment and livelihoods, keeping as many businesses open as possible at different stages, while acknowledging that some businesses and services are critical.

Any measures introduced at any level of the Plan 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.

As I'm sure you can appreciate, COVID-19 spreads when individuals and groups come into close contact with one another, enabling the virus to move from one person to another. COVID-19 is infectious in a person with no symptoms, or for the period of time before they develop symptoms. The number of people allowed to gather in different scenarios in the Government's Framework are based on a review of international practice and the judgment of public health experts. It seeks to balance the risks of different types of gatherings against the desire to allow normal activities to proceed in so far as possible.

At level 5 of the Plan, unfortunately, this means closing many businesses and amenities to reduce the person-to-person contacts which allow the virus to spread. At Level 5 essential retail and essential services will remain open. Further information on essential retail and essential services at Level 5 can be found at:

Further information on all levels of Resilience and Recovery 2020-2021: Plan for Living with COVID-19 is available at:

The Deputy should note that the Christmas trees are not a matter for my Department and are under the remit of the Minister for Agriculture Food and Marine.