'We want to open the county up': Healy Rae wants to open Kingdom if safe to do so

Independent Kerry TD Michael Healy-Rae wants the Kingdom to be looked at in a special way because it has not had any new cases of Covid-19 in four weeks.
'We want to open the county up': Healy Rae wants to open Kingdom if safe to do so
Michael Healy Rae. Picture:Gareth Chaney/Collins
Michael Healy Rae. Picture:Gareth Chaney/Collins

Independent Kerry TD Michael Healy-Rae wants the Kingdom to be looked at in a special way because it has not had any new cases of Covid-19 in four weeks.

“It didn’t come about easy,” he told RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland. The people of Kerry had made a lot of sacrifices to make this happen.

“We have our own way of doing things in Kerry.

We want to open the county up and welcome people, we want to ensure that they have a safe and happy time here.

If it was safe and prudent to do so Mr Healy-Rae wanted Kerry to be open for visitors.

However, another Kerry native, Professor Mary Horgan, consultant in infectious diseases at Cork University Hospital, said that Ireland was a small island and it would be too difficult to police county borders.

Prof Horgan said that Kerry, the fifth largest county in the country, had a large rural population and many of the Covid outbreaks had been in care facilities.

The people of Kerry had done great work in shutting down and had been successful in containing outbreaks of the virus in the county.

It was best for the entire country to follow the one path and it would be confusing to have some counties open before others, she said.

The country “should be reopening things,” she said. While she was aware of the importance of hand hygiene and social distancing measures “a lot of it is our own self responsibility.”

Prof Horgan welcomed the 1m consideration for the reopening of some businesses “given the reality that it would be very difficult to run a country with a 2m rule”.

People still needed to stay “in small pods” and to be aware of the three Cs – crowds, closed conditions and close contacts, she said.

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