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Over 560 beds secured in Dublin for homeless people to self isolate, says minister

Staff working in homeless services have been deemed essential personnel.

Image: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

THE DEPARTMENT OF Housing has said that over 560 beds have been secured in Dublin for any homeless people who need to self-isolate because of Covid-19. 

Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy said that “significant space” in Cork and Galway has been secured to meet any isolation needs that may arise. 

Murphy also deemed staff working in homeless services providing emergency accommodation to homeless households as essential personnel.

People involved in the provision of private emergency accommodation (hotels and b&bs) are also categorised as providing essential services.

The Department’s announcement comes after the government told everyone in Ireland to stay at home, except essential workers travelling to work and other exceptions.

Since the coronavirus outbreak, homeless services have been taking drastic measures to protect homeless people from the virus. 

An already vulnerable population, many of whom suffer from health problems, homeless people often share rooms in emergency accommodation or cramped hotel rooms for families, making it difficult to realistically self-isolate for anyone who has tested positive for Covid-19.

 secured significant space in Cork and Galway to meet any isolation needs that may arise. 

Murphy said this evening that local authorities are working closely with the HSE and homeless service operators to ensure services are maintained and that “movement of individuals residing in emergency accommodation is minimised”.

“There is a comprehensive plan in place for dealing with the current Covid-19 crisis. In Dublin we have secured over 560 extra beds through a range of accommodation for isolation purposes and have moved a lot of people to new accommodation in order to comply with social distancing requirements,” Murphy said. 

We also have plans in place to activate further space if required in the coming weeks. We have also secured significant space in Cork and Galway to meet any isolation needs that may arise. 

“We continue to work with the HSE in order to cater for the needs of those in Emergency Accommodation and will continue our constant monitoring and support as the situation evolves.”

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Adam Daly

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