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Government says it's aware some Irish people are 'getting fed up of social distancing measures'

A senior government official this morning urged people to ‘keep going’

Liz Canavan in Government Buildings.
Liz Canavan in Government Buildings.
Image: RTÉ News

THE GOVERNMENT HAS said it is aware that some people are getting “fed up” with social distancing measures but has urged them to “keep going”.

Speaking at a briefing at Government Buildings this morning, assistant secretary at the Department of the Taoiseach Liz Canavan said that the government is aware “how frustrating” the situation is. 

She thanked everyone who complied with restrictions over the past few days, acknowledging that “weekends are particularly difficult, especially when we have good weather”.

“We’re aware from reports on social media that some people are getting very fed up of the social distancing measures, they’re feeling confined, they’re stuck in the house or local area, and they’re having to queue up to get into shops,” she said. 

We do know how frustrating it is and we know people’s patience and resolve is waning. We know that every day we’re putting out that call for solidarity and community spirit, as well as personal and collective behavioural change, inventiveness and resilience, from all of you. This is what is required of each and every one of us at each step to delay the transformation of Covid-19. We know that call has not fallen on deaf ears so far, we have complied with restrictions and have succeeded in reducing the spread of the infection. For now we just need to keep going, as best we can. 

The government has said it is hoping to ease some of the restrictions on 5 May. 

The official also provided an update of the government’s social supports as a result of Covid-19 pandemic.

Canavan said that over 49,400 employers are now registered for the temporary wage subsidy scheme and that “over 347,000 employees have now received at least one payment under the scheme”. These figures do not include those who may have received a payment today. 

Canavan said that the cumulative value of payments made to employers under the subsidy scheme is now €556 million. 

The official added that employers can add employees who were laid off after 29 February back on the payroll for the purposes of the scheme, but that employees who were availing of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) must cease their claim. 

“Revenue and the Department (of Social Protection) are sharing information to identify duplicate payments across both schemes,” she added. 

On the PUP, Cavanavan said that 591,000 will today receive their €350 per week payment under the scheme. These will be lodged into accounts tomorrow.

About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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