Government must outline position on face-masks

28 April 2020

Labour Party TD for Dublin Fingal, Duncan Smith, has called on the Government and NPHET to outline their position on the public wearing of face-masks.

Deputy Smith said:

“Over the last few weeks, as other countries seek to ease their Covid-19 restriction measures, we have seen the mandatory wearing of face-masks in public be introduced across several jurisdictions. We have had little or no advice to the Irish people in this regard.

“We know in the next couple of weeks, that we will hopefully see some changes to the restriction measures that are in place, before these measures are announced and rolled out, we need clarity from the Government, NPHET and the HSE on their stance on face-masks in public.

“Leading Irish medical opinions on the wearing of face-masks have differed over the last few weeks. We know that there are many pros and cons to the wearing of masks. They are great for those who are asymptomatic but could lead to complacency for sticking to other measures such as social distancing and hand-washing for those who are already quite healthy

“If the Government is planning on bringing forward a directive on the wearing of face-masks, then they must issue guidelines sooner rather than later, so to prevent stockpiling, encourage correct usage and to ensure the correct standard is being applied by suppliers.

“With suggestions being made that Leaving Certificate students should wear masks, similar to those who are taking exams in Hong Kong, the sooner we have clear advice from Government the better.

“The Labour Party has been calling on the Government to publish a clear exit strategy for easing restrictions for weeks now, guidance on wearing face-masks must be published in tandem with these plans.”

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