Jack Quann
Jack Quann

21.57 6 May 2020


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A preliminary social distancing plan has been published for the Dáil chamber.

A safety consultant company has come up with a plan in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

It recommends setting up an isolation room for people who show symptoms in Leinster House.

The plan is based on 27 members seated within the chamber seats and space for six people in the press gallery.

Eamon O’Boyle & Associates says:"It is our assessment that the space available within the chamber will not facilitate the sitting of a full plenary session under the current safety advice set out by the HSE."

It says as part of the measures, a compliance officer should be nominated to monitor and ensure social distancing and hygiene rules.

"The Compliance Officer should be aware of the symptoms of COVID-19 and inform management and first aid if they suspect any individual of having symptoms. They should assist in isolating the individual, while not putting themselves at risk."

If any person suspects themselves, or is suspected of having symptoms, they must be reported to the Compliance Officer.

social distancing Image: Eamon O’Boyle & Associates

The officer must then accompany the person to an isolation room, keeping a two-metre distance and both wearing PPE such as gloves and masks.

It says an isolation room must have ventilation, tissues, hand sanitizer, PPE equipment, clinical waste bags and a no-contact thermometer.

It is also recommended that when a member chooses a seat for a sitting, that they keep to the same seat while they are in attendance to prevent cross-contamination.

It also says that due to the reduced seating, there is potential that members may leave and be replaced by other members throughout a sitting.

"It is further recommended that consideration be given to pausing sittings every 2-3 hours to allow cleaning staff to sanitise the chamber."

While surface contact points should be wiped down regularly by cleaning staff.

These include items such as door handles, door release buttons, handrails, light switches and lift buttons.

It also says signage should be put in place in key locations to emphasise the HSE guidelines.


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