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Health Services

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 27 July 2021

Tuesday, 27 July 2021

Questions (2063)

Neale Richmond


2063. Deputy Neale Richmond asked the Minister for Health the position of indoor activity centres under the current reopening plan; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36421/21]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

As the Deputy will be aware, on 29 June, Government announced the next phase of reopening the economy and society in line with Recovery and Resilience: The Path Ahead.

While significant progress is being made in relation to the roll-out of our vaccination programme, the rapidly increasing prevalence of the more transmissible Delta variant, and the significant risk this poses, in particular to those who are not yet fully vaccinated, meant that a number of higher risk indoor activities did not recommence as planned on 5 July, pending the implementation of a system to verify vaccination or immunity status.

Disease incidence has increased rapidly in recent weeks, especially among those who are not yet fully protected through vaccination and the outlook for the coming weeks is very uncertain.

While gyms, swimming pools and leisure centres are now open for individual training, other indoor activity and leisure facilities remain closed. Unfortunately, due to current uncertainties with regard to the Delta variant there is not yet an indication of when indoor activity centres will reopen. The epidemiological situation will be monitored on an ongoing basis and the level of restrictions will be kept under review by Government.

Significant and sustained progress has been made on suppressing the virus over recent months due to the huge effort of people across the country. By working together, we have saved lives and limited the impact of the disease on society in Ireland. To protect the gains of recent months we must continue to practice basic preventative behaviours and to follow public health guidelines.