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‘More people allowed on buses than at rural churches’ – Michael Healy-Rae hits out at latest announcement on Covid restrictions

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Michael Healy-Rae TD

Michael Healy-Rae TD

Michael Healy-Rae TD

kerryman

Kerry TD Healy-Rae has called on the Government to give more clarity on what exactly is allowed and is not allowed following the announcement on Tuesday by An Taoiseach, Micheál Martin, on the latest Covid restrictions.

The plan which was announced on Tuesday allows live music, an increase in capacity at churches, full capacity on public transport and increased attendance at indoor live events. 

However, Kilgarvan TD Michael Healy-Rae has said the new regulations remain confusing. 

The Government needs to clarify  what he calls the “hatches, matches and dispatches” Covid policy.  

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“It is great that we are finally coming to the end of a torturous 18-month spell of covid-19 restrictions, which have changed many peoples lives drastically but when it comes to news on hatches, matches and dispatches, there still remains little enough details from now until the end of October.” 

He said that confusion still likes in restrictions around births, deaths and marriages. 

“At this stage we still have partners of expectant mothers waiting in their cars outside hospitals. We seem to have another plan but no word on when that will be. We have news that bands will be allowed play at weddings but no increase in the 100 people restriction and still no clear news whether people dance at a wedding. It seems partners can share a bed but not a dance? And when it comes to religious services Churches can still only have a 50% capacity. With public transport returning to 100% capacity, there is a good chance there will be more allowed on a Dublin Bus than at some rural Kerry churches on a day of funeral.”

Deputy Michael Healy Rae has also called for greater clarity on additional financial supports for members of the music and entertainment sector, many who have been out of work for over 18 months with many having to wait until next summer and the return of an improving tourism sector before they get back to playing music full time

“With many restrictions lifting and most industries returning back to work, it is important that we do not forget our music, arts and entertainment sector who need to be helped now more than ever especially with cut backs in some financial supports to be phased in this month. We need to protect the smaller and individual players in that sector to get them to summer 2022.” 


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