Coronavirus: Homeless support workers deemed essential, Eoghan Murphy clarifies

Coronavirus: Homeless support workers deemed essential, Eoghan Murphy clarifies

The government has stressed that people working to support those who are homeless are deemed essential workers, and it has also changed time periods for planning applications because of the Covid-19 crisis.

Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy also clarified that any NGOs and private operators working in providing emergency accommodation is deemed to be offering an essential service, as per the terms of the government's wide-ranging restrictions set out last Friday.

Minister Murphy said this would last for the duration of the current crisis and that there was a comprehensive plan for dealing with those who are homeless amid the Covid-19 pandemic, including the provision of 560 beds in the Dublin region alone.

In addition, new Orders made by the Minister and the Government will add 23 days to the statutory time periods for processing planning applications within the Planning Acts.

This is to reflect the period up to Easter Sunday, during which time people have asked to stay at home, other than leaving for essential purposes and includes a short period thereafter to ensure that there is adequate notice of revised arrangements.

Minister Murphy said: "We find ourselves in unprecedented times.

Given these new restrictions on the movement of people, it is important to extend the public participation periods in the planning system, to ensure that the integrity of decision making is upheld, and to ensure that plan-making for new development can continue

    Useful information
  • The HSE have developed an information pack on how to protect yourself and others from coronavirus. Read it here
  • Anyone with symptoms of coronavirus who has been in close contact with a confirmed case in the last 14 days should isolate themselves from other people - this means going into a different, well-ventilated room alone, with a phone; phone their GP, or emergency department - if this is not possible, phone 112 or 999 and in a medical emergency (if you have severe symptoms) phone 112 or 999

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