A Galway West TD has said that it is time to bring in increased emergency measures and restrictions to combat COVID-19.
Mairéad Farrell TD said that ‘other countries have learned, to their cost, that delay costs lives’.
She also said that ‘mixed messages’ from the Government must stop.
“In the space of a few short weeks, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused levels of national and international disruption unprecedented in our lifetimes. We need to wake up to that here,” she said.
The Sinn Féin TD said that welcome interventions have been made to get ahead of this virus, but ‘the truth is that we now need more urgent, decisive action’ from the government.
“They need to be taking every necessary measure to save lives,” said Deputy Farrell.
“Social distancing is central to this strategy, but Government Ministers can’t criticise people for gathering together, while at the same time saying that gatherings of up to five hundred people outdoors are still allowed.
“This limits the ability of the relevant authorities to enforce social distancing. These mixed messages must stop.
“It was deeply frustrating to see the large numbers of people filling our beaches and coastal communities last weekend when local people who are trying to avoid contracting the virus were virtually marooned in their homes.
“Nobody should be holidaying at this time. People should be staying in their primary homes, walking and shopping in their local communities.
“It is time now to scale up emergency measures and restrictions. Other countries have learned, to their cost, that delay costs lives.
“We also need urgent action to ensure that tens of thousands of people who have lost their jobs are protected financially and that they can provide for their families at this time.”
Setting out her party’s plan for a comprehensive Income Support Scheme for workers and families impacted by the crisis, she said: “Sinn Féin has proposed the immediate introduction of an Income Support Scheme that will guarantee an income of up to €525 per week for 20 weeks for all workers that are laid off as a result of the current crisis.
“This would benefit every worker and would mean that everyone who earns up to €32,500 a year will receive their full wage.
“The people of this State bailed out the country’s banks a decade ago. Now we need an bailout for workers and families.”