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Calls for ‘social bubbles’ to be created for those living alone

A Labour party representative has called for ‘social bubbles’ to be introduced for those who are living alone.

Eoin Barry, who ran in the 2019 Local Elections, made the call in light of new government restrictions.

On Wednesday night, Taoiseach Micheal Martin, Tainiste Leo Varadkar and Green Party leader Eamon Ryan, held a joint press conference where they moved Donegal, Cavan and Monaghan into Level 4 restrictions.

And for the rest of us, they decided that household visits are now prohibited – save for medical or compassionate grounds.

But Mr Barry says that this is a ‘blunt’ instrument.

He said: “The announcement by the government yesterday evening that all household visits are to be banned, is unnecessarily blunt for those living alone.

“We all understand the need to bring down community transmission of the virus, but other countries have understood the impact that isolation has and have allowed people to create social bubbles.

“The rules need to show compassion and be reflective of the type of households that people live in. Single person and single parent households shouldn’t be entirely cut off from any social contact or support during this crisis.

“The Government should do what countries like the UK and New Zealand have done in publishing guidance for social bubbles.

“A support bubble is a close support network between a household with only one adult in the home and one other household of any size.

“This would allow a household to form a bubble with an elderly parent or relative living alone.

“While I understand the need for all of us to limit our social contacts, we need to consider the consequences of completely isolating people who happen to live alone.”

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