Two leading Donegal politicians have backed calls for a Level 5 lockdown for the entire country.
Independent Deputy Thomas Pringle and Independent Senator Eileen Flynn have said that in the face of rising Covid-19 cases, NPHET recommendations must be implemented on an all-Ireland basis to prevent recurring lockdowns in the future.
The Independents said that if the government implements the Level 5 restrictions NPHET recommends, this must also be accompanied by the restoration of Covid pay, a stop on evictions, and other social protections brought in at the start of the pandemic crisis.
Deputy Pringle said: “A lockdown has to be done on an all-Ireland basis, and if we can do that and control it we can come out the other side. I don’t think we can continue going into lockdowns every few weeks. It’s not fair on business people – it’s not fair on anyone.
“If we wait for the hospitals to be overrun it will take another four or five weeks for the hospitals to get back to normal again,” Deputy Pringle said.
Senator Flynn said: “With cases rising across the country, it’s time for an all-Ireland health strategy. This is not about politics. It is about looking at this pandemic in a human way, where we all work together to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
“More than ever it’s important for the government to listen to public health professionals because they know what works. They must listen to the public health professionals and do what’s right by the people, and that includes supports for businesses that will give them hope for the future,” she said.
Their calls were echoed by Independent TDs Joan Collins and Catherine Connolly.
Deputy Collins said: “I support a level 5 lockdown on an all-Ireland basis as a way of going forward. This virus does not recognise borders and our strategy must reflect that.”
Deputy Connolly said: “This should have happened in July. We reopened too early, so that has been a missed opportunity. We need to do it now, and we need to ensure that lockdown is accompanied by adequate testing and contact tracing.
“This moment also demands full accountability and information from this government,” Deputy Connolly said.