Wednesday, 21 April 2021

Ceisteanna (170)

Gino Kenny

Ceist:

170. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment when outdoor work such as window cleaning outdoors is expected to return; if he will provide details of guidelines on the definition of outdoor work and the plans for outdoor work under current health guidelines. [18847/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Enterprise)

As you are aware, following the advice of NPHET, the Government made the decision to move the entire country to Level 5 of the Framework for Living with COVID-19 (COVID-19 Resilience and Recovery 2021: The Path Ahead) and for essential retail and services (including childcare) to remain open.

This has been followed by the recent Government announcement of a phased easing of public health restrictions that commenced on 12th April. Further details of these phases can be found at

https://www.gov.ie/en/press-release/81029-government-announces-phased-easing-of-public-health-restrictions/.

However, all non-essential services must stay closed for now. This is to help reduce the number of people moving about as the variant of the virus, B-117, that we are dealing with now is more transmissible and it is significantly more dangerous. A list of essential services can be found at https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/2dc71-level-5/.

Businesses should carefully review the essential services list and determine whether they can operate or not under the current restrictions. It is not necessary for businesses to seek official authorisation.

Under the current Regulations construction or development of housing, including adaptation and remediation work and work on vacant residential properties, and the provision of support services relating to such construction or development is permitted.

While it may be the case that in certain circumstances residential window cleaning could form part of support services relating to permitted construction and development, the onus is on the individual to ensure they are in compliance with the Regulations.

The full list of essential services and activities currently permitted is set out in S.I. No. 168 of 2021, as amended, and does not include a general category of outdoor work.

The current public health measures will remain in place until 4 May. Government will meet in advance of that date to review the level of restrictions.

Government decisions are not taken lightly, and I am acutely conscious of the impact they have on businesses. That is why the Government has worked to support businesses through this difficult time with a comprehensive range of measures for firms of all sizes. Details of the wide range of COVID-19 schemes and measures for businesses are available on my Department’s website at

https://enterprise.gov.ie/en/What-We-Do/Supports-for-SMEs/COVID-19-supports/.