Newstalk
Newstalk

15.32 21 May 2020


Share this article


Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin has said some of the Government's decisions about which shops can and can't reopen "make no sense".

The Dáil has this afternoon been hearing criticism of the communication from the Government about the coronavirus reopening plans.

Deputy Martin suggested 'uncertainty and inconsistency' is what could case problems - saying it's vital that any measures introduced are clear.

He said: "The division between which shops are allowed to open and those which must remain closed simply makes no sense.

"In some cases, it is damaging the credibility of the overall restrictions.

"The distinction between hardware stores and homeware stores in my view is foolish, and there's now no doubt whatsoever that stores which are allowed to open are actively trying to fill the gaps created by keeping other types of stores closed."

He argued there had been an 'unfairness' in terms of competition as a result.

Separately, the Health Minister has been criticised for refusing to attend a Dáil debate on the COVID-19 situation in meat factories.

Simon Harris has cited the latest health advice to politicians, which says if someone spends two hours in another person's presence indoors they're considered a close medical contact.

The Minister is taking a two hour Dáil questions session at the moment.

However, Sinn Féin's Matt Carty has criticised Minister Harris for not also attending tonight's debate.

He said: "It's concerning that the Dáil debate that the minister has refused to attend is actually in relation to the situation of meat factories, that are operating it appears to very different standards than have been laid down before this House.

"It's ironic in this very controlled environement, politicians are being protected from attending for more than two hours."

Reopening plans

Addressing deputies earlier, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said the Government will make a decision on whether the country can move to phase two on Friday June 5th.

He observed: "I know that some other countries are opening faster, but every country's circumstances are different - and we stand over the slow and steady approach."

Meanwhile, the Government has suggested businesses trying to reopen early aren't respecting the spirit of the roadmap that's been set out.

A survey by the Licensed Vintners Association released yesterday found almost half of Dublin pubs are planning to reopen as restaurants next month, despite August 10th being set as the scheduled date for them to open their doors again.

Government official Elizabeth Canavan today said any firms trying to use a "loophole" to get back to work early are risking the progress that's been made in suppressing the virus.

She said officials "understand the temptation" for retailers to reopen, but stressed that businesses cannot reopen unless they're "specifically allowed to do so" under the roadmap.

Reporting by Sean Defoe, Stephen Murphy and Stephen McNeice
Main image: File photo of Micheál Martin. Picture by: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

Share this article


Read more about

Coronavirus Micheál Martin Reopening

Most Popular

Live: Title

Now playing

00:00:00 / 00:00:00
Added to queue
Removed from queue

On Air

Share

Share


Up next

Episode title
Show
Duration

You currently have no podcasts in your queue.

Go to podcasts

On Air

Off The Ball

Off The Ball

19:00-22:00

Share

Up next

SPLANC

SPLANC

22:00-00:00

Share

BEST OF NEWSTALK

BEST OF NEWSTALK

00:00-07:00

Share

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

07:00-08:00

Share

NEWSTALK BREAKFAST WITH SUSAN...

NEWSTALK BREAKFAST WITH SUSAN KEOGH

08:00-09:00

Share

THE HOME SHOW WITH SINEAD RYAN

THE HOME SHOW WITH SINEAD RYAN

09:00-10:00

Share

DOWN TO BUSINESS WITH BOBBY KE...

DOWN TO BUSINESS WITH BOBBY KERR

10:00-12:00

Share

FUTUREPROOF WITH JONATHAN MCCR...

FUTUREPROOF WITH JONATHAN MCCREA

12:00-13:00

Share

OFF THE BALL

OFF THE BALL

13:00-17:00

Share

TECH TALK WITH JESSICA KELLY

TECH TALK WITH JESSICA KELLY

17:00-18:00

Share

SCREENTIME WITH JOHN FARDY

SCREENTIME WITH JOHN FARDY

18:00-19:00

Share

SOUNDSCAPE

SOUNDSCAPE

19:00-20:00

Share

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

Share on