Exit plan welcome but key to easing restrictions will be getting testing and tracing right - Mary Lou McDonald
Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald TD has this evening welcomed the announcement of a plan to ease public health restrictions in a safe and phased way in the time ahead. She has said that getting testing and tracing right is critical to the delivery of this plan.
"I welcome this evening's announcement of a plan to ease public health restrictions in a safe and phased way in the time ahead. This is essential and it gives hope to people who are finding it hard to deal with the lockdown, but who are continuing to follow public health advice and show huge social solidarity.
"There are a couple of things we need to get right if we are going to safely exit current restrictions, and chief among them is testing and tracing. Scaling up capacity is welcome, but we need much more than that - we need widespread community testing and efficient tracing. This is critical to ensuring that we don’t have a second round of restrictive measures.
"We need absolute clarity and transparency about all of this and we need to see an end to measures being announced and re-announced but not being delivered on the ground.
"We need to use the next two weeks to carry out detailed planning with different sectors to ensure that as workers return to work they return to a safe environment. There is also a lot of work to be done in the months ahead to re-open the many businesses that have had to close during this crisis.
"We are a small island with a small population and for the purposes of public health we are a single population. The sensible approach is to work together to keep people well and to save lives. That requires a more energetic pursuance of an all-island approach."