Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Business, Enterprise and Innovation Robert Troy has repeated his call for Minister Humphreys to establish sector specific taskforces to get businesses open and operating as quickly and safely as possible.

Deputy Troy said such a taskforce could oversee the earlier reopening of the hair and beauty sector which as it stands is not due to reopen until phase four of the Government plan.

The British Government has established five ministerial-led taskforces to develop plans for how and when businesses in closed sectors can reopen safely. In Ireland, just one sector taskforce has been established for tourism.

Deputy Troy said, “Taskforces are vital to oversee the safe reopening of non-essential stores, pubs and restaurants, hair and beauty businesses, leisure and sports facilities. There can’t be a ‘one size fits all’ approach to reopening and many businesses require lead-in time.

“None of these sectors want to put themselves, their staff or their customers in jeopardy and what works for one of them won’t necessarily work for the other and that’s where specific taskforces with specific protocols come into play.

“Despite calling for their establishment on numerous occasions the Minister has not responded positively to this nor my repeated calls for an earlier reopening window for hairdressing services under strict guidelines.

“When almost all other businesses will be operational on or by June 29th it seems excessive that barbers, hairdressers and nail technicians have to remain closed for at least another six weeks.

“Almost every town and village in Ireland has a hairdresser, a barber, or a beauty salon and oftentimes they employ people from the locality, so this is having a negative knock-on effect.

“As things stand, we will be one of the last countries in Europe to allow this sector to reopen. I think it’s important that the Minister give urgent consideration to allowing them to reopen sooner and to establishing sector specific taskforces to oversee the restarting of our economy,” concluded Deputy Troy.