Sinn Féin health spokesperson Louise O’Reilly has said that the government need to use the extension of COVID as an opportunity to put a plan in place for workers for after May 18th.
Speaking this evening, Teachta O’Reilly said: “We are at a very serious point in our COVID-19 response and the announcement by the Taoiseach this evening that certain measures will be relaxed is a significant development.
“The announcement of a roadmap to get through this period is a step in the right direction and something that many people feeling the strain of the ongoing restrictions were waiting for.
“But it is important now that we use the next fortnight to plan ahead.
“The extension of the lockdown until May 18th needs to be used to by the government to put a plan in place for workers who will return to work after that period – and to ensure that testing and tracing capacity is vastly improved so it is safe for them to do so.
“While we all recognise the collective need to work together to beat this virus, there must also be accountability and transperency when decisions of the magnitude of easing restrictions are made.
“Naturally, the public, politicians and media would have liked to know what the Chief Medical Officer’s opinions were on any relaxation of measures and where things currently stand with testing and tracing before the Taoiseach’s address.
“The postponement of the Chief Medical Officer’s afternoon press conference until after this evening’s address by the Taoiseach meant we did not hear the views of the medical and scientific community before the caretaker government’s latest decree.
“Furthermore, the refusal of the caretaker Taoiseach to take any questions after his address this evening was a further blow to accountability.
“It is unacceptable that Leo Varadkar refused to take questions from the media. This has understandably led to much frustration.
“We are all in this together but accountability is key to maintaining public trust.”