A Covid-19 cluster in one part of Galway could see a lockdown imposed across all the county, under the Government's new measures - a move that would be "extremely unfair" on the public, and detrimental to businesses.
This is the view of Sinn Féin Galway East representative, Louis O'Hara, who secured 16.7 per cent of first preference votes at the February General Election, and who lasted until the eighth and final count.
Mr O'Hara was reacting to the Government's Living With Covid plan, arguing that it "lacks clarity and common sense" in dealing with managing outbreaks and clusters.
He said one of its "major flaws" was in how it plans to deal with County Galway. The entire county is to be treated as one unit which may be subject to local restrictions. According to Mr O'Hara, this means that an outbreak in one area, say in the far west of Connemara, would result in restrictions there and the same resections being imposed on east and north Galway - in effect the entire county would be under restrictions.
'Galway is far too big to be considered as one regional area. Any measures to contain local outbreaks should be as focused and as localised as possible'
"This would be an intolerable situation," he said, "and would be extremely unfair on all of us who have made huge sacrifices over the past number of months, in particular our local businesses which have had to close."
Mr O'Hara said County Galway is "far too big to be considered as one regional area", and that any measures to contain local outbreaks or clusters "should be as focused and as localised as possible".
Reopening of pubs
Mr O'Hara was also critical of Living With Covid's guidelines for the reopening of pubs. He said the current time limits will remain for those" pubs in which only one metre social distancing is possible. "This is going to result in people moving from pub to pub," he said, "and coming into contact with more people, increasing the risk of the virus spreading."