Wednesday, 20 January 2021

Questions (531, 541)

Richard Boyd Barrett

Question:

531. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Health the construction works that are deemed essential, given the apparent grey area between essential and non-essential construction that is being exploited on many sites; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2471/21]

View answer

Bríd Smith

Question:

541. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Health if he will clarify the position on the definitions of essential and non-essential workplaces and services during the Covid-19 crisis and level 5 restrictions, specifically the definition that applies to the construction sites of companies such as a company (details supplied); the definition that applies to FDI firms and construction work; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2505/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 531 and 541 together.

As you will be aware, Ireland is at level 5 of the Government's medium-term Strategy Resilience and Recovery 2020-2021: Plan for Living with COVID-19. This 5-level framework sets out what is permitted for social or family gatherings, work and public transport, bars, hotels and restaurants, exercise activities and religious services, at that moment in time.

The measures in place for each level reflect the prevailing disease situation and recognise that we can and must prioritise some activities and services over others.

Information in relation to the public health measures with regard to essential services and construction at level 5 is available at https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/2dc71-level-5/ and https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/2dc71-level-5/#construction.

The Health Act 1947 (Section 31A - Temporary Restrictions) (COVID-19) (No. 10) Regulations 2020 Regulation (S.I. 701 of 2020), sets out the relevant businesses or services under the current public health measures, which are deemed essential.

SI No. 4 of 2021 also provides information on what are essential construction and developments.

Statutory Instruments related to the Covid-19 pandemic are available here: https://www.gov.ie/en/collection/1f150-view-statutory-instruments-related-to-the-covid-19-pandemic/

The Deputy should note that my Department does not have responsibility for the construction sector. The shutdown of the construction sector (including the construction and developments permitted to continue), was confirmed by the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage by press release on the 6 January, 2021. Further information on these projects is available here:- https://www.gov.ie/en/press-release/53a69-minister-obrien-confirms-shutdown-in-construction-activity/