Sinn Féin spokesperson on Health David Cullinane TD has welcomed the planned introduction of a colour-coded system to replace the phased approach to reopening the economy.
Deputy Cullinane said that the new system needs to be underpinned by strong and robust prevention and enforcement measures.
Speaking today, Teachta Cullinane said: “I welcome the announcement today that a new colour-coded system based on county and regional responses to combat Covid-19 will be introduced. Sinn Féin has previously raised the option of looking at a more local and regionalised response in some areas.
“However, the key here is strong prevention and enforcement measures. This means rigorous testing and tracing as well as robust enforcement of the back-to-work protocols.
“We need targeted responses and more workplace inspections. The Health and Safety Authority has a clear role in identifying and reporting breaches of Covid workplace protocols where found.
“We also need to see the publication of a red list for foreign travel, and the introduction of testing for passengers travelling from red list countries.
“I am also calling on Minister Stephen Donnelly to publish a plan on how to protect and enhance capacity in our health system in the time ahead. Acute hospitals face losing up to 40% bed capacity, while the looming winter flu season will present additional challenges.
“It is vital that while we have a plan to reopen the economy and a plan to reopen schools, that we also have a plan to protect and equip our health services as they face into the winter season.”