Michael Staines
Michael Staines

09.30 28 Mar 2020


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The Minister for Health has confirmed that most construction workers will not be considered ‘essential’ through the COVID-19 lockdown.

The Government is expected to publish a full list of the workers it classes as essential later this morning.

As of midnight, everyone in Ireland has been ordered to stay at home except in limited circumstances in a bid to slow the spreads of the coronavirus.

People can go outside to shop for essential items, pick up medicines and health products, attend medical appointments and exercise within 2km of their homes.

We are only permitted to go to work if it is deemed essential and if it can’t be done from the home.

On Newstalk Breakfast with Susan Keogh this morning, the Health Minister Simon Harris said construction workers will only be permitted to continue if they are building something that is essential to this pandemic.

    

“So for example if we were to decide that we need to put in modular units or adapt a hotel or build things that we need to actually get through this pandemic – of course that would be essential,” he said.

“But in general, the message is really simple here. I need everyone in Ireland to stay at home.

“You should only be leaving your home if you are absolutely doing something that is essential to getting us through this pandemic and keeping our people safe and well."

Essential workers

He outlined some of the things that will be included on the list of essential services later today.

“Essential workers are effectively those of us who have to go to work to ensure the health and social wellbeing of others,” he said.

“So, our nurses, our doctors; people working in our health profession, people caring for people.

“It is people working in the public and civil service, again, keeping the country functioning – but crucially only those who can’t work from home. Everybody should be trying to work from home.

“It will be people providing food and medicinal supplies – the farmer, the food factory or the person selling the food.

“People keeping our utilities going like our water and our electricity and also the transport sector, we need to make sure we can keep on public transport but that is only for and only to be used by essential workers.”

He said everyone who is taking exercise should stay as close to home as possible.

You can listen back to the full interview here:

    

    


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