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Calls for social bubbles after "unnecessarily cruel" home visit restrictions announced

By James Fenton

October 15, 2020 at 2:58pm

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Labour Senator Rebecca Moynihan has called for the introduction of "social bubbles" for people who are living alone or in single-parent households.

Last night, a nationwide ban on people visiting households was announced, with the exception of people entering homes for "compassionate reasons." Health Minister Stephen Donnelly has already moved to clarify this, saying earlier that "if it is someone who is completely isolated and you need to go in and help them, of course. If it is someone who is recovering from some healthcare issue or has some underlying condition, no question whatsoever, go and do that."

However, Senator Moynihan feels that the latest restrictions are still "unnecessarily blunt and cruel" for people living alone. In a video posted to Twitter, she said: "We know that we have community transmission and that we need to get the numbers down. However, I think for people living in single households or single-parent households, this is a very blunt and unfair measure."

She goes on to say that "other countries such as the UK and New Zealand have allowed so-called 'social bubbling' to take place, where one household picks another household to bubble with. I think this is a way to proceed in Ireland. It's very unfair that single households are expected to isolate themselves for an indefinite period of time and I'm calling on the Government to allow social bubbling and to issue guidelines for social bubbling."

The new restrictions on household visits come in effect from midnight tonight and are expected to remain in place until November 10.

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