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Health Minister gives some clarity on "compassionate grounds" for home visits

By Rory Cashin

October 15, 2020 at 12:57pm

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With some exceptions, a countrywide ban on visiting other people's homes kicks in from midnight tonight.

Following the announcement on Wednesday night, there will be a countrywide ban on visiting other people's homes from midnight tonight (Thursday into Friday), with a few exceptions.

Initially, that ban was described as including any and all visitors to households including indoor and outdoor settings, except for essential reasons including essential childcare and compassionate reasons.

What exactly could be defined as "compassionate reasons" was perhaps a little vague to some people, and speaking to Newstalk today, Health Minister Stephen Donnelly gave a little more clarity on the subject, stating he expects everyone to trust their best judgement in this regard:

"People are sensible and we have to trust people. So, what we are saying is, look, we have to apply our own judgement here. So, if it is a relative that needs your help, then of course go.

"Unambiguously, 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."

"Let's face it, unfortunately, everyone is sick of this and understandably sick of it but unfortunately, the virus couldn’t care less.

"So, what we are saying is, all of those discretionary visits where we say, 'ah sure it couldn’t do any harm could it? I am just going to invite my friends over on a Friday' or, 'ah look I haven’t seen anyone in a while so I am just going to go in for a cup of tea' or, 'I am just going to go in for a glass of wine on a Friday'. What we are saying right now is please do not do those ones."

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