PBP put forward amendments to make quarantine legislation effective
People Before Profit have said that the government announcement on the revised Living with Covid plan was “a plan for a semi-permanent lockdown and that it was the worst of all possible worlds.”
The party said that last night the government needed to announce a plan that would get us beyond lockdowns- a Zero-Covid strategy to eliminate community transmission. They also called on the government to push at an EU level for a People’s Vaccine and a relaxation of intellectual property rights.
The party have put forward a number of amendments to the legislation on mandatory quarantine. The amendments would make it mandatory for all incoming travellers to quarantine for 14 days in hotels, rather than from a small number of countries, as is being proposed by the government.
Richard Boyd Barrett TD said: “What was announced last night by An Taoiseach was a plan for copper-fastening a semi-permanent lockdown. What we have now is a plan to keep people locked up in their homes almost indefinitely until we get enough vaccine supply into the country. This is the worst of all possible worlds. This plan has been, and will be, a disaster for people’s mental health and instead we need to move to a Zero-Covid plan which could get us beyond lockdowns, to drive virus numbers down to very low levels and eliminate community transmission.
“It is self-defeating for the government to announce, what is a semi-permanent lockdown, whilst we have a situation where some employers are insisting that their workers go into work. We need much better enforcement and inspection of workplaces. It is quite incredible that nearly a year into the pandemic we are still having to make this call.
“We have put forward a number of amendments to the mandatory quarantine legislation today which would make it the case that anyone travelling into the country would have to quarantine in a hotel for 14 days.
“Vaccine rollout, which the government have put all their hopes in, is proceeding at a glacial pace because of supply and logistical issues. We need much more vaccine now. The government need to push very hard, at an EU level, for the intellectual property rights on vaccines to be set aside so enough vaccine can be produced to speed up our own vaccine programme and that vaccine can be sent to developing countries. If everyone is not safe, then no one is safe.”