Any Lifting of Restrictions Should be Based on Sound and Transparent Advice

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People Before Profit: Any lifting of restrictions should be based on sound and transparent advice from medical and scientific experts North and South with a robust testing and tracing regime in line with international best practice

People Before Profit elected representatives from the Dáil and Stormont have said that there can be no lifting of restrictions, North and South, unless there is robust cooperation and a uniform process between the government in the South and the Northern Executive and a regime of testing and tracing which is in line with international best practice.

The TDs and MLA said that Covid-19 restrictions should only be lifted or relaxed if this was based on sound and transparent medical advice. They said that the respective governments should not be shoehorned into lifting or relaxing restrictions because of pressure from big players in the respective economies and called for a robust All-Ireland strategy for the lifting of restrictions.

Richard Boyd Barrett TD said: “For months my office has been demanding to see the advices from the Expert Advisory Group who are informing the decisions of the government and NEPHT. Our calls have been met with a deafening silence from the government. 

“The only way we can have any kind of lifting or relaxing of restrictions is if the advices that the government and NEPHT are receiving are made public and are fully transparent and if we have a testing and tracing regime that is in line with international best practice. These decisions must be shown to be made on health grounds and not on the pressure of economic interests who only want to open up the economy again in order to get profits rolling again.

“We will be questioning the Taoiseach on Thursday in the Dáil about what work or correspondence he has had with the Northern Executive about coordination plans regarding Covid-19. If there is not a comprehensive and consistent plan between the Dáil and Stormont, then there is very serious danger of another wave of this pandemic.

Gerry Carroll MLA said: “It is extremely dangerous that governments are beginning to consider exiting the lockdown. We still do not have a vaccine for Covid-19 and thousands are at risk of death if restrictions are lifted. 

“Economic interests of corporations and the wealthy should not be put before the health and safety of citizens. There has been a totally botched approach to the handling the Coronavirus across the island. With one jurisdiction in the North doing something completely different from the South.

“An exit strategy should not even be contemplated until we have met the WHO criteria which includes but is not limited to mass testing and contact tracing- yet we are a million miles away from this. 

“Following the Tory approach in the North has been disastrous for people here. All future decisions around Coronaviurs should be based on sound medical evidence and have an All-Ireland approach at the centre of it.”