Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Communications, Jack Chambers has said that An Post’s plans to provide newspaper delivery could help support local newspapers through the outbreak of COVID-19.

An Post announced plans to begin the delivery of newspapers during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

Deputy Chambers said: “It is extremely welcome that An Post has stepped up to the plate at this extremely difficult time. The measures which have been announced will play a vital role in ensuring vulnerable people are kept safe, that public health measures are easier to implement, and that people feel connected at a time when so many are apart.

“The provision of supports for the delivery of print media at both national and local level will be particularly important. Local and regional newspapers should ensure that they are able to use this service in the coming weeks and to encourage people to subscribe.

“Further supports are required. A team within the BAI should be established to provide an emergency forum for issues as they arise in the sector and additional financial supports should be considered to maintain these services.

“Regional and local print media has a vital role to play in helping to tackle COVID-19 but will face serious difficulties in the coming months. Some papers have already announced layoffs or closed their doors.  If supported, it will provide help to spread valuable public health information, area specific information and help to combat misinformation in communities. It must be maintained,” concluded Deputy Chambers.