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Covid-19 Pandemic

Dáil Éireann Debate, Wednesday - 24 February 2021

Wednesday, 24 February 2021

Questions (749)

Ruairí Ó Murchú


749. Deputy Ruairí Ó Murchú asked the Minister for Health if the continued construction of nursing homes is within the exceptional construction guidelines under the current level 5 restrictions. [9931/21]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

Following a government decision regarding the Level 5 restrictions and the making of the Health Act 1947 (Section 31a - Temporary Restrictions) (Covid-19) (No. 10) (Amendment) Regulations 2021, the development an essential health and related project is comprehended within the exemptions to closure. Paragraph 5 of Part 2 to the Schedule to the Health Act 1947 (Section 31a - Temporary Restrictions) (Covid-19) (No. 10) Regulations 2020 (as amended) details the construction and development that is included in the definition of an essential service and whereby a worker may leave his or her place of residence and attend a premises for the provision of that essential service.

The recent amendment to the Regulations significantly enhances and expands upon “Construction and Development” deemed to be an essential service under Part 2 of the Schedule to the Original Regulations. Critical construction of essential health projects are exempt from restrictions as the development of an essential health or related project isn’t dependent on it being linked to preventing, limiting, minimising or slowing the spread of Covid-19.

While the majority of Health Capital projects are progressing during the current restrictions, a number of projects can be slowed or stopped due to in-ability to access the required work areas due to COVID outbreaks or clinical decisions to limit access to those areas. In some regions there are indications of a slow-down in work due to supply chain and workforce issues, despite the sites being open.