COVID-19 IRELAND: School Closure May Exceed End Of March; Emergency Health Bill For Debate At Seanad

The closure of schools due to the COVID-19 outbreak may extend to April or May” – Taoiseach Leo Varadka.

Leo Varadka TD, expressed this concern in a meeting with the 35 elected Fine Gael TDs in the evening of 19th March 2020.

Schools in the Republic of Ireland have been closed since Thursday 12th of March 2020. The initial expected date of lapse was 29th of March 2020.

However, as a result of the State’s effort to curtail the spread of the deadly and highly transmittable viral infection, the resumption date is not far-fetched.

Despite the social distancing measures in place, the estimated expected number of infected persons may be higher than 15,000 by the end of March.

Asides from the closure of schools and institutions, pubs and public places were also shutdown in order curb the pandemic COVID-19.

The Taoiseach, in a phone conversation with the British PM, Boris Johnson stated the importance of cooperation within the common travel area. Both PM’s agreed to keep contact and align their actions in order to combat the disease.

The Dail Eirean also passed an emergency COVID-19 legislation named; the Health Preservation and Protection and other Emergency Measures in the Public Interest) Bill 2020.

The bill will be taken for debate in the Seanad today, before being signed into law by President Michael D Higgins this weekend.

The main concern of some TDs relates to a time-limited review “sunset clause” which is included in the bill. This implies that the powers that shall be enacted under this law will be reviewed, with an option to let them fall or be renewed.

The bill provides for changes to remove the waiting period for payment of Jobseeker’s Benefit and Jobseeker’s Allowance in cases related to Covid-19 diagnoses and isolation.

The bill also impose powers to detain those suspected of being infected with Covid-19, where a medical officer can order their detention and enforce isolation in good faith.

As a balance to the implementation, a suspected infected person may ask that their detention be reviewed “as soon as practicable” if they believe they are not a source of infection.

Find full copy of proposed bill below:

In the meantime, keep safe…..

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