Mac Sharry seeks pilot programme for North West for re-opening from COVID-19

Published on: 02 September 2020

Fianna Fáil TD for Sligo-Leitrim Marc Mac Sharry says the Government should consider a pilot programme for regions with low incidences of coronavirus transmission, such as the North West, which would see a quicker reopening of services.  

He explained, “The Government are preparing a new roadmap for our economy and public health in terms of reopening society. While localised lockdowns and an increase in public health guidelines when required is important, so too is the reopening of society.  

“For regions with very low numbers of coronavirus transmission, such as Sligo, Leitrim, and parts of Donegal the Government should consider a pilot programme. Such a programme would see people attending football and soccer matches in small numbers, the reopening of pubs and bars with strict public health guidelines, and other gatherings providing transmission remains low and public health advice is followed.   

“I understand the Government are considering allowing music gigs to go ahead under strict guidelines. There is no reason why live music performances could not be a part of such a pilot programme here in the North West.   

“The Government and the public health team could examine findings from the pilot programmes which would inform their decision-making process over the coming weeks, months and years as we learn to live with this virus.  

“Of course, no one of us wants to see the hard fought for gains lost. Any spike in transmission would mean an immediate introduction of public health measures for the areas under any pilot programme.  

“A vaccine or effective treatment for those infected with coronavirus appears to be some way off. If we want to live with this virus effectively, I believe we should consider greater freedoms for the public and society in regions less affected by the virus,” concluded Deputy Mac Sharry.  

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