New Covid plan a 'semi-permanent lockdown', claims People-Before Profit

Opposition TDs have criticised the latest Covid-19 announcement by Government, claiming it is lacking in hope and specifics.
New Covid plan a 'semi-permanent lockdown', claims People-Before Profit

People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett dubbedthe plan announced on Tuesday as "the worst of all worlds". File Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins

The Government's new Covid plan has been dubbed "the worst of all worlds" by opposition politicians.

The plan announced on Tuesday confirmed that there would be a further six weeks of lockdown. A review is due on April 5, Taoiseach Micheál Martin said.

However, despite clarity on the return to schools, there was little in the way of specifics with regard to other sectors, save for the confirmation that Government will consider easing the 5km travel limit and restrictions on people meeting outdoors and outdoor sports in its April 5 review of the restrictions.

People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett said that the plan announced on Tuesday would mean a "semi-permanent lockdown".

“What was announced last night by An Taoiseach was a plan for copper-fastening a semi-permanent lockdown. What we have now is a plan to keep people locked up in their homes almost indefinitely until we get enough vaccine supply into the country. 

This is the worst of all possible worlds. 

"This plan has been, and will be, a disaster for people’s mental health and instead we need to move to a Zero-Covid plan which could get us beyond lockdowns, to drive virus numbers down to very low levels and eliminate community transmission.

“It is self-defeating for the government to announce what is a semi-permanent lockdown whilst we have a situation where some employers are insisting that their workers go into work. 

"We need much better enforcement and inspection of workplaces. It is quite incredible that nearly a year into the pandemic we are still having to make this call."

In the Dáil, Labour leader Alan Kelly said that the Government had not acquired "any new tools to suppress the virus". 

Mr Kelly said that the plan hadn't offered any metrics or hope for people as to when or how the country might reopen. He said that the party had offered seven suggestions including antigen testing which the Government had ignored. 

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