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Businesses Seek Clarity on Rationale for New Covid Measures

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By Chamber Press Office, 19 August 2020

Dublin Chamber has called on the Government to clarify the rationale behind the new Covid-19 restrictions announced yesterday.

Dublin Chamber, which represents 1,300 businesses in the Dublin region employing more than 300,000 staff, said the new restrictions have resulted in a considerable level of confusion within the business community. The Chamber said businesses remain committed to playing their part in the fight against Covid-19 but need and deserve answers regarding why many of these new restrictions have been introduced.

Dublin Chamber said the new restrictions come as a major blow to many firms who had started to turn a corner and began to adjust to the much-changed business environment. The Chamber said it was surprised that blanket measures had been introduced without clear supporting evidence being made available. Dublin Chamber has today written to the Government seeking clarification on a number of issues emanating from Tuesday evening’s announcement.

Principally, Dublin Chamber is calling on the Government to:

• Explain fully and provide the evidence behind why each of these new measures has been introduced.
• Provide details of where clusters have appeared and outline the high-risk workplaces.
• Confirm whether office workplaces have been connected to any clusters of the virus, including details of sectors and numbers affected.
• Confirm whether any small restaurants or coffee shops have been connected to any clusters of the virus.
• Explain the rationale behind the differing capacity limits between the various types of settings.
• Confirm whether public transport has been connected to any clusters of the virus.
• Provide an update on the Government's plans for testing, tracing, and contacting over the coming months, including the upcoming winter period.
• Explain what the long-term plan for coping with the virus is, e.g. containment, investment in health service capacity to deal with infections or elimination.

According to Dublin Chamber CEO Mary Rose Burke: “The business community needs clear evidence regarding why particular decisions are being made. This will help ensure the continued support of the business community and allow businesses to make any changes that are required in order to prevent the spread of Covid-19 within workplaces. At the moment we have a one-size-fits-all approach without explanation. That is not sustainable.

"Without absolute clarity and transparency around the causes of clusters and known risk factors, it is inconceivable that whole sections of the economy would be locked down. Without this information, blanket measures are completely unfair on the many businesses who have spent huge amounts of time and money on ensuring they are compliant with regulations and providing a safe working environment for employees. These new measures will have a massive impact on the viability of many businesses and their ability to maintain jobs. It is vital that that the Government works closely with the business community to ensure any new measures or changes are targeted in the right areas and commensurate with the risks and realities that exist." said Ms. Burke.

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