Wednesday, 16 December 2020

Questions (110)

Michael Creed


110. Deputy Michael Creed asked the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media if consideration has been given to relaxing the Covid-19 regulations as they apply to events (details supplied). [43672/20]

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Written answers (Question to Tourism)

On 27 November the Government agreed the approach for easing restrictions, including a phased move to Level 3 nationally, with a number of exceptions in place for the Christmas period. The exceptions for the Christmas period are designed to support people to have a meaningful Christmas, albeit different to other years. The main objective is to stay safe and keep the COVID-19 numbers down so that we can maintain the lowest possible level of restrictions into the New Year.

In line with the Plan for Living with COVID-19 the Government has, in recent months, framed restrictions to account for periods where there is low incidence of the disease, with isolated clusters and low community transmission, through to situations where there is high or rapidly increasing incidence, widespread community transmission and the pandemic is escalating rapidly in Ireland and globally. Throughout this period the Government has made special provision for weddings in view of the importance of these occasions to couples and the level of planning that is involved for couples and their families.

In certain settings, such as weddings, higher noise levels due to music, can force people into close proximity, requiring them to raise their voices or shout to communicate thus increasing the risk of spreading virus to others. Such activity presents a higher risk of transmission of Covid-19. Accordingly the Government has decided that no live or loud music is permitted at weddings and this is reflected in Fáilte Ireland's current guidelines.

I understand the difficulties these restrictions pose for couples on their special day and the impact on musicians and bands. The public health measures put in place at any point in time is subject to ongoing review of the trajectory of the virus.