Ring does not support 5km rule for rural Ireland

Businesses and organisations across the county have had to lock their doors for a second time this year following the move to Level 5 of the Living With Covid plan for six weeks introduced by the Government from Thursday of this week.

A raft of new measures and restrictions were introduced as part of this move to Level 5 of the plan, one of them being for people to restrict their movement to within 5km or their homes, with penalties put in place for those caught outside of the 5km radius without an exemption for work or essential purposes.

Fine Gael TD Michael Ring told the Advertiser this week that he would not be supporting the 5km rule, saying that it was impractical for people in rural Ireland and that he had stated so at his party's parliamentary party meeting this week.

"I said it at the parliamentary party meeting and I didn't get much support for it. But I will not be backing the 5km rule for rural Ireland it is totally unfair.

"Five kilometres is no distance in rural Ireland, there will be nothing but people getting caught in the county, it is not feasible for people in rural Ireland, the 5km rule.

"I have people on to me in the county who have gone for tests and are waiting seven and eight days, one person had 17 or 18 phone calls to the HSE to see could they get the results of their tests - and they are not able to do the contact tracing now, so they want to Joe Soap and citizen to obey the law and they can't deliver what they are supposed to."

As part of the move to Level 5 restrictions An Garda Síochána has introduced a range of measures, including a large of number of static and rolling checkpoints, high visibility community engagement patrols, maximisation of operational ability, and ongoing support for the most vulnerable.

The measures are being introduced to ensure compliance with public health guidelines and regulations following the Government’s decision that the country should move to Level 5 under the Framework for Living with Covid-19.

Under Operation Fanacht, there will be an extensive network of checkpoints around the country. The 132 static checkpoints on motorways introduced earlier this month will remain and will be supplemented by hundreds of rolling checkpoints on main and secondary roads.

There will also be high visibility community engagement patrols by Gardaí in parks, natural beauty spots, and public amenities.

As has been done since the start of pandemic, Gardaí will continue to engage with the most vulnerable in society to provide them with the necessary supports.

Mayo has continued to see the number of positive Covid-19 cases increase this week with 271 new positive cases in the 14-day period up to Tuesday, October 20, according to the most up-to-date statistics from the Government. There have now been 916 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the county since the pandemic began.

The number of admissions of Covid-19 patients to Mayo University Hospital has also continued to rise with eight confirmed cases being treated in the hospital as of 8pm on Wednesday, October 21, with one confirmed and two suspected cases being treated in critical care in the hospital.


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