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Covid 19

Public urged to stick with ‘tough’ restrictions to allow phase two proceed next week

The Government has urged people to stick with ‘tough’ measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus so that some restrictions can be eased as planned on June 8th.

At the Government’s morning Covid-19 briefing on Tuesday, assistant secretary general at the Department of Taoiseach Liz Canavan said people should continue adhering to travel and social distancing guidelines. She asked people to “keep it up for a few more days”.

“We know it has been tough. However as we approach the end of phase one of the roadmap, we can see that the efforts everyone has made are continuing to benefit our communities. Hopefully that gives us a very good chance of moving to phase two as scheduled,” Ms Canavan said.

In phase two, which is due begin next Monday, the 5km restriction on movement will be widened to 20km but unnecessary journeys should still be avoided.

Visits to homes of over 70s and medically vulnerable will be allowed by no more than a small number of people for a short period of time.

Up to four people may visit another household for a short period while maintaining strict social distancing.

Ms Canavan said it was clear that many people did not travel outside their locality over the Bank Holiday weekend.

Meanwhile, the number of people claiming the Government’s special weekly pandemic payment has dropped by 36,000 since last week as more people return to employment.

Ms Canavan said there are now 543,000 unemployed recipients of the weekly €350 payment.

The overall value of the weekly payments is now around €190 million.

Ms Canavan also said Irish Water is urging the public to conserve water after an increase in water usage in the past week and over the Bank Holiday weekend.

“First of all I must emphasise that we all have to prioritise hand-washing but Irish Water is today again appealing to the public and to businesses to make every effort to conserve water by discontinuing non-essential usage such as the operation of power-washers, by using a watering can rather than a hose in the garden, by taking showers over a bath and by fixing any dripping taps were it is possible to do so.”

She said it was “very likely” that a hosepipe ban would be needed.

“It is now very likely that a water conservation order, what we know as a hosepipe ban, will be necessary to conserve water supplies as demand for water continues to soar and the drought conditions continue.”

From The Irish Times