Independent TD, Michael Healy-Rae, has urged the government to clarify its “hatches, matches and dispatches” Covid-19 policy.
The deputy believes An Taoiseach Micheal Martin needs to “put a few more details” into the government’s next phase of its response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Healy-Rae called for further details surrounding births, marriages and deaths, following the publication of the government’s latest roadmap yesterday (Tuesday, August 31st, 2021).
Speaking following Martin’s address to the nation, Healy-Rae said:
“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.”
“At this stage, we still have partners of expectant mothers waiting in their cars outside hospitals. We seem to have another plan, but word on when that will be.”
“We have news that bands will be allowed to 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 a funeral.”
The deputy also called for greater clarity regarding additional financial support for members of the music and entertainment sector.
He highlighted that many have been out of work for over 18 months. Furthermore, he added that many will have to wait until next summer and the return of an improving tourism sector before they can play 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 cutbacks 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,” the deputy concluded.