WILLIE O’Dea TD has called on the Government to expedite the opening up of outdoor activities in light of new data which has emerged. Just one confirmed case of Covid-19 in every thousand is traced to outdoor transmission.
Of the 232,164 cases of Covid-19 recorded in the State up to March 24th this year, 262 were as a result of outdoor transmission, representing 0.1 per cent of the total.
Willie O’Dea TD said, “In light of this new information which shows how safe outdoor gatherings are, I am urging the Government to immediately open up all sports at all ages, including tennis and golf.
“It is pretty much unheard-of to transmit Covid-19 by playing outdoor sport. It was recently reported that in 12 months of detailed tracing of positive Covid-19 tests in professional soccer, American football, and rugby, there hasn’t been a single case of on-field transmission.
“Scientific evidence has already shown how minimal the dangers of transmission of Covid-19 between children are and now we have proof that outdoor gatherings are very safe for everybody.
“In light of this information, we should now allow coffee shops and restaurants to serve outdoors and permit all retailers to operate a click or call and collect service. he added.
“It also makes little sense why Ireland is practically the only country in Europe that does not allow churches and other places of worship to open for regular services under Covid 19 restrictions. With so many of the most vulnerable now vaccinated and in view of the importance of public worship to so many people, the Government should now allow places of worship to reopen.
“Most churches are well ventilated buildings that can seat hundreds of people. By all accounts the churches operated very safely when allowed to open last year with sanitising, allocated places, one-way systems, limits on numbers, social distancing and face coverings.
“After rolling lockdowns which have been the longest in Europe, many of the restrictions now need to be eased and people’s lives and livelihoods need to return to as close to normal as possible.”