Government's failure to act on Covid-19 sees communities punished - David Cullinane TD
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Health David Cullinane has criticised systemic failures caused by slow government action as the reason for the return to stricter restrictions.
Speaking this evening, Teachta Cullinane said: "Over the last number of weeks, we have heard great plans to tackle Covid from government, but very little action.
"Colour-coded systems, travel red lists, testing at airports, and guidance on foreign travel have all been announced but what action has been taken?
"We must be guided by the public health advice, but we also have to recognise the government's failure to take appropriate action in a timely manner.
"We have supported public health measures on the basis of robust enforcement. We will continue to support measures in the public interest but we need to see more action from government.
"Test, trace, isolate. These are the basic first principles. We are missing our testing targets consistently. We need to expand testing capacity and use it.
"The outbreaks in congregated settings - hotbeds for the virus such as nursing homes, meat plants and Direct Provision - were not missed, they were ignored.
"Nursing homes were clearly a weak point and that should have been picked up sooner. Meat plants and Direct Provision were highlighted early on by Sinn Féin and others, but action was not taken for months.
"The government has dropped the ball on this and is not living up to basic promises to follow basic principles.
"This has led to the unfair treatment of sports clubs, small businesses and communities that will now suffer the consequences of the government failing to act despite months of warnings."