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Government pressed to deliver ‘sustainable plan’ to safely exit lockdown

Sinn Fein president Mary-Lou McDonald urged the government to ‘give themselves a shake’.

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Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald (PA)

Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald (PA)

Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald (PA)

The Irish Government has been urged to deliver a “sustainable plan” to safely exit lockdown.

Sinn Fein president Mary Lou McDonald described the announcement by Taoiseach Michael Martin that Level 5 restrictions will continue as “difficult news for people”.

She queried why no further detail around a plan to emerge from restrictions had been revealed.

They need to pull themselves together, give themselves a shakeMary-Lou McDonald

“I have no confidence in this government, I fail to see given the level of chaos, confusion and rivalry, and dithering, a really toxic mixture that we have seen from this government, how anyone in real terms could have confidence in them,” she told RTE.

“They need to pull themselves together, give themselves a shake and what we need now is a steady, thoughtful, sustainable plan to get us out of these restrictions and to keep people safe thereafter.

“That means testing, tracing, vaccination and it also means that while people cannot stray beyond 5k from their house, people should not be coming in through our airports.”

Labour Party leader Alan Kelly has criticised the “absence of clear metrics and targets”.

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Labour leader Alan Kelly (Brian Lawless/PA)

Labour leader Alan Kelly (Brian Lawless/PA)

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Labour leader Alan Kelly (Brian Lawless/PA)

“While the Taoiseach offered some clarity on school reopenings, there were no clear metrics or targets in his speech or the government document on the level of cases or hospitalisations we need to reach,” he said.

“There is no renewed commitment or proposals to aggressively suppress the virus in our community, and ensure that we eradicate outbreaks when they arise, and keep out new variants through mandatory hotel quarantine for all arrivals. No real lessons appear to have been learned from the experience and impact of new variants which tore apart the government’s previous Living with Covid plan.”

The Vintners Federation of Ireland (VFI) also criticised the absence of a published plan on the way forward.

The trade body said the lack of certainty around the reopening of pubs will “prolong the anxiety and uncertainty” for thousands.

VFI chief executive Padraig Cribben said government must provide hope.

“It’s incredible the Taoiseach did not signal what would happen after April 5, especially after his recent vague comments that hospitality would remain shut until ‘mid-summer’,” he said.

“Over 50,000 people work in the pub sector so we hoped government would recognise the huge uncertainty swirling around the sector and outline a plan for reopening.

“The lack of detail about how the pub sector will reopen is completely unacceptable to our members and their families.

“They deserve a roadmap to reopening that explains what must happen to allow pubs commence trading.”

PA


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