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Contradictions in new COVID rules are going to cause confusion - SF TD

Louise O'Reilly says there are “glaring anomalies” in the restrictions that need to be addressed.
Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

15.09 19 Oct 2021


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Contradictions in new COVID ru...

Contradictions in new COVID rules are going to cause confusion - SF TD

Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

15.09 19 Oct 2021


Share this article


Confusion around the new COVID-19 rules will just make it harder for people to follow the advice, Sinn Féin's Louise O'Reilly says.

She was speaking after the Government confirmed there’ll be a more limited reopening than initially planned.

While nightclubs will be allowed to reopen, they’ll only be able to do so with additional precautions in place - including the use of COVID certs.

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The need for mask-wearing, social distancing and the use of vaccination passports have been extended until February 2022.

However, there's confusion about attendances at large indoor events, with the guidance saying everyone needs to be seated.

While dancing is allowed in nightclubs, dancing at gigs will only be allowed while standing at a designated seat.

Different rules will also apply for pubs and nightclubs.

There's also uncertainty over whether indoor events can go ahead with 100% capacity - while official capacity limits have been removed, advice around social distancing will remain.

Opposition parties have further expressed confusion around suggestions that table service only continues to be recommended, despite dancing being allowed in nightclubs.

Taoiseach Michéal Martin admitted there will be inconsistencies.

He said: “I think there has to be practical arrangements made.

“There are going to be anomalies - it’s not one clear line across every sector.”

Specific sectoral guidelines are being issued for nightclubs, although today's announcement comes just days before the venues will be allowed to reopen on Friday.

Louise O’Reilly told Lunchtime Live today’s announcements are unlikely to come as a shock, as details had leaked in advance and there were “a number of kites flown” by ministers beforehand.

However, she said the “glaring anomalies” do need to be addressed.

She observed: “People want to follow the public health advice - they want to do the right thing. But it needs to be clear.

“Where there are contradictions - for example, you can have a bop a nightclub but not at a gig - that’s going to make people confused.

"When they’re confused, it makes it hard to follow the advice.”

Main image: Louise O'Reilly (Photograph: Sasko Lazarov / RollingNews.ie) and social distancing sign (Photograph: Alamy Stock Photo)

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