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Tag Archives: Public health guidelines

Compliance with travel restrictions remains ‘relatively good’

INCREASED traffic on roads across Clare has been reported by Gardaí, but general compliance levels with Level 5 restrictions are said to be relatively good. As the country comes to the end of a third straight month at the highest lockdown level, Superintendent John Galvin said that while movement beyond 5km is increasing, a lot of it is down to the return to school, as well as the distances that Clare people normally travel for essential work reasons. “We are certainly seeing a rise in the number of people on the roads at the moment,” the Kilrush-based superintendent said. “A certain level of that is down to the reopening of schools and overall people’s compliance is quite good. If you think about someone living in Kilrush and working in Ennis, if they’re an essential worker, they have to travel well beyond the 5km.” Superintendent Galvin said that fears over large-scale house parties around St Patrick’s Day weren’t realised. “Overall, it …

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Scariff anti-mask protests strongly condemned

ANGER over the regular presence in Scariff of a number of people protesting about pandemic public health guidelines has prompted furious debate on social media and a rejection of the anti-mask agenda. Since the end of last year, a group of up to 10 people been gathering in the centre of the East Clare town at weekends, carrying placards with phrases including, ‘Breathe again, masks do nothing’ and ‘I am here for your freedom too’. It is understood the group operate under the name ‘Vigil for Freedom’. In recent days, The Champion has been contacted by a concerned senior citizen living locally. In a strongly-worded letter, the man said he was “angered and appalled” by the demonstrations and the “callous disregard” of those taking part. “At this time when hospitals are being overrun by the sick and dying it is just not acceptable to have this type of demonstration going on,” he said. “Doctors, nurses and other health workers are …

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Garda checkpoints return under Level 5 lockdown

‘EXPECT to meet us anywhere,’ is the message from Clare Gardaí as they continue to enforce public health restrictions on travel. Following the return to Level 5, the policing plan for the division will now see three static checkpoints in Clare, and a number of roving, randomised checkpoints on roads across the county. “We will have checkpoints right across the division and you can expect to meet us anywhere,” said Superintendent John Galvin. “As well as three static checkpoints, we will be operating random, short-term checkpoints at a wide range of locations. The message is that if you are on out on the roads, we will be asking you about the purpose of your journey.” Superintendent Galvin noted that the approach taken to policing the 5km travel restrictions will be a “common sense” one. “We will be there to explain, advise and encourage,” he said. “People are entitled to travel to shop for essentials, for example, but they shouldn’t need …

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GP warning over flouting of self-isolation guidelines

AS CLARE’S Covid-19 infection rate continues to rise, a busy family doctor has warned that many people, who should be self-isolating, in line with public health advice, are failing to do so and putting others at risk. Dr Yvonne Williams from Shannon said she was concerned that people who should be restricting their movements, while they have potential symptoms, are not listening to the advice of their GPs or the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET). ‘What I am finding is that people are still going out and about with coughs and other possible symptoms,” she said. “The truth is that you can’t say that something is just a sinus infection, or just a chest infection or a just a sore throat until you have a negative Covid-19 test. If you are unwell in any way, we have to treat that as Covid until it is proven otherwise.” Dr Williams also expressed concerns over turnaround times for tests which she …

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Publicans plea for chance to prove they can open responsibly

THE proprietors of an East Clare pub are appealing to the government to give them the chance to prove they can re-open and operate safety. Susan McMahon and Martin Butler have been running The Cobbler’s Rest, a so-called ‘wet’ pub, in Bodyke for the last 16 years. They have expressed anger at the fact that while they are sticking to the rules, a number of pubs are flouting regulations on serving a substantial meal, in order to stay open. Like all other pubs who don’t serve food, The Cobbler’s Rest has been shut since March on the direction of government and The National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET). Its proprietors have seen three false dawns and been preparing to re-open at different stages in July and August, only to have their hopes dashed at the end of last month. “I don’t think they’re going to let us open at all this year,” said Mr Butler. “It’s desperately unfair. Every pub …

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Funds crisis for Kilkishen Development Association

A CALL has gone out for funding and other support for Kilkishen Development Association after it was forced to curtail all community activities due to a lack of money. For the last five yeas, the association has been at the heart of efforts to provide essential maintenance in public areas and to keep Kilkishen Cultural Centre going, as a focal point for community events. In a statement, the association said that, “Closure of our cultural centre because of the Covid Pandemic has taken its toll on our financial position”. The association said last week that it had been unable to buy petrol for FÁS and Tús workers to continue grass-cutting in areas like Clonlea Cemetery, the amenity park, the grounds of the cultural centre and church, or to support Kilkishen Tidy Town by maintaining the grass margins on the approach roads to the village. “We hope you understand our current position until we organise a fundraising event later when the …

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Black Lives Matter Ennis defer controversial event

THE organisers of a peaceful protest at the death of George Floyd, which had been planned for Ennis on Saturday, has been postponed. Those behind the anti-racism event had pledged to use every possible measure to ensure social distancing, but a significant level of public concern over the possible transmission of Covid-19 prompted them to defer the demonstration. In a statement, organisers said that “new information and clearer guidance of civil liberties and our rights to protest during the time of pandemic” had prompted them to call off the protest in the public interest. “It is vital that people are aware of the systemic and institutional racism that is present not only in America but also in Ireland,” the statement said. “Racism is present in Ireland many have experienced it and it’s not an issue unique to America this is why we feel strongly about protesting to bring awareness to the issue and strive for change.” Organisers said they are …

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Community spirit endures as virus forces changes to funerals

“AS a mainly rural people, we’ve always had a tradition of going to funerals to provide support and show sympathy, Covid-19 has forced us to make massive changes to that custom,” said Ennis-based undertaker, Cyril Cusack, commenting on one of the most challenging aspects of all of the current public health guidelines limiting gatherings and movement in the face of the Coronavirus. Reposals, hand-shakes and books of condolence have all been ruled out for the time being and the traditional funeral drawing huge number of mourners is a sight we are unlikely to see for some time. Detailed guidelines from the Health Service Executive (HSE) to funeral directors outline how social distancing must be implemented, meaning only private ceremonies for immediate family and friends are allowed. Despite the restrictions, Mr Cusack said families are handling the situation with dignity and grace at an extremely challenging time. “First of all, families have to deal with their shock and sometimes anger when …

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