Councillor calls for future lockdowns to be localised

A local councillor has called for any future lockdowns to be done on a localised basis rather than using county boundaries.

Fine Gael Cllr Cyril Burke said this week that the Government should consider the lockdown of areas by municipal district, as natural boundaries already exist and should be easy enough to police.

The government introduced a new raft of Covid-19 restrictions this week aimed at curbing the upturn in the number of positive coronavirus tests in recent weeks, with the restrictions set to stay in place until September 13.

The most recent data shows there have been 585 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Mayo since the pandemic began, with that number only increasing by 15 since early June in the county while there has been no confirmed case of Covid-19 being treated in Mayo University Hospital since early June also.

The new restrictions implemented by the Government during the week have generated much discussion and anger from people around the county with the moving of all sporting events behind closed doors in particular causing much frustration.

With three counties, Offaly, Laois and Kildare having been put in a lockdown status two weeks ago, one member of Mayo County Council has suggested that if such lockdowns need to be implemented in the future, the government should look at it on a municipal district basis rather than county wide.

However, Cllr Burke feels it makes more sense to localise the restrictions.

"If outbreaks occur, rather than closing down whole counties, it would make much more sense economically and medically to close those areas specific to where the outbreak occurs.

"Going forward this would make a lot of sense as the disease has all the hallmarks of being around for the foreseeable future. This way of managing the crises would be more palatable for the public and much more viable economically," he said.

Under the new restrictions issued by the government, some of the main points are that all businesses should allow staff to work from home where possible; all visits to homes will be limited to six people from outside the home from no more than three households for both outdoor and indoor gatherings; people over 70 are advised to limit their interaction to a small network of people and to avoid public transport; weddings and some religious services can take place with up to 50 people; restaurants and cafés can remain open with a mandatory closing time of 11.30pm; sporting events must take place behind closed doors and training sessions should be in groups of 15 outdoors and six indoors.

 

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