McNelis urges ‘mandatory mask wearing’ around the elderly

Councillor calls for separate national plan out of lockdown for the elderly

Instead of just encouraging mask wearing, it is time a “comprehensive decision” was made by the Government on this issue and declared it a mandatory practice.

This is the view of Labour Galway City West councillor, Niall McNelis, who is calling for mandatory mask wearing when visiting those cocooning. He is also calling for a separate road map out of lockdown for Ireland’s older population, which specifically addresses their needs and concerns.

“The Government is today encouraging the wearing of face masks when visiting those cocooning but really it should be mandatory,” he said. “It is simply not good enough to continue to ignore the growing worldwide evidence on the benefits facemasks provide in fighting the spread of Covid-19.”

Cllr McNelis said eldderly people need the security of “everybody wearing face coverings to protect them and to ensure they can play their part as we emerge from the restrictions”.

He is also calling for specific times to be set aside for older people to visit local authority parks. “Such times will encourage social contact between our elderly population,” he said.

Cllr McNelis praised the “magnificent community response” in visiting and ensuring older people have a proper meal and daily social contact. “As we emerge from the restrictions,” he said, “Ireland must adopt this positive consequence of the pandemic and ensure those community groups are properly funded and can continue the terrific services they provide.”


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