February 19, 2021
Reckless last-ditch scramble for quarantine legislation the result of nine months of government dithering – David Cullinane TD and Darren O’Rourke TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Health David Cullinane TD and spokesperson on Transport Darren O’Rourke TD have described as inexcusable the government dithering which has led to Health Minister Stephen Donnelly scrambling to piece together last-minute quarantine legislation.

The Bill was promised for this week but due to the haphazard approach, has been bogged down in revisions and delayed to next week, despite NPHET recommending quarantine measures nine months ago.

Teachta Cullinane said:

“NPHET recommended mandatory quarantine on May 8th last year. Nine months later, and Minister Donnelly is scrambling to draft the legislation. That is inexcusable.

“The haphazard drafting of highly important and restrictive legislation is utterly reckless. It is unsurprising that it is now being bogged down in last minute revisions considering they left it so late.

“Frankly, it is highly concerning that it is being rushed at this late stage.

“Public health advice needs to be acted on rapidly by the government. We are paying the price now for them failing to do so.”

Teachta O’Rourke said:

“The government has delayed bringing forward mandatory hotel quarantine for nine months.

“It was finally announced that the Bill would be in the Dáil this week, but now that will be next week.

“This legislation was due in cabinet on Tuesday, revised, and brought again on Wednesday.

“A briefing was scheduled for today along with the publication of the Bill, but now that has been pushed to next week too.

“Amendments are due Monday afternoon. This is no way to make legislation.

“The government is treating the Dáil with contempt, and their dithering on mandatory quarantine means this important legislation is now being rushed.”

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