Clear guidance needed on mask use in weeks ahead

03 May 2020

Labour Party Leader and Health spokesperson Alan Kelly TD has said following the publication of the roadmap out of pandemic restrictions, that it is now time the Government gave us clear guidance on what rules on masks will be required for the general public when they go back to work and use public transport, and how supply will be regulated to protect healthcare workers.

Deputy Kelly said:

“Government Ministers who are claiming once again to be making all the decisions, need now to give the public clear guidance on mask use, and whether people will need to wear masks when out and about as restrictions are relaxed over the coming weeks. It is essential that any guidance and rules ensures that supply won’t be impacted for healthcare professionals.

“On the Late Late on Friday night the Taoiseach said masks would be recommended after May 18th and advised for shops and public transport, but we now need clear guidelines and clarity on how masks will be provided to enough people as there will likely be supply shortages. And if masks will be needed in three weeks, why are they not needed now?

“What is also not clear from the Taoiseachs reply is whether masks will be mandatory, and how rules will be enforced. We know masks have some preventative role, but are not absolute, but if it helps us get back to some normality, then they are definitely needed.

“A large number of countries have introduced mandatory mask wearing in public. If such a policy is to be adopted here we need honest answers for the public, including advice on how to make your own. The key issue here is that the need for the public to wear simple masks or face coverings doesn’t impact on supply for frontline health workers.

“It is likely legislation and regulations will also be needed to control for supply issues, and use in public spaces. Unfortunately once again the Taoiseach floated an idea on national TV about mask wearing but no clear guidance has yet been provided for the people.”

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