Senator Ollie Crowe has called on the Government to lift the 5km Covid travel restrictions
Fianna Fáil’s Ollie Crowe has called on the Government to lift the five kilometre restrictions and said that “enough is enough”.
The Galway Senator said that he would like to see the distance extended to at least 20 kilometres or that people should be allowed to travel any distance within their own county.
As it stands, there will be no easing of the five kilometre restrictions until at least April 5, when the Government will outline the next stage in its Living with Covid plan.
“The reality is that currently we have to give people a little bit of hope. Where the five kilometre figure came out of is hard to understand and it should be lifted at this stage. It should be increased to at least 20 kilometres or, even more practically, to just stay within your own county.”
“After three lockdowns, we must look after and be very aware of people’s wellbeing, their mental health and the concerns that lie therein. People are finding this the most difficult lockdown. There’s only so much in the five kilometres that you can do; and I just don’t think it’s practical at this stage,” he said.
Mr Crowe’s party colleague Peter Keane said that the majority of people have complied with government restrictions and some of these people now have “cabin fever of the highest order”.
The City Councillor said that recent figures suggest that an easing of restrictions might be possible before April 5.
“The five kilometres should remain in place until we have a more concrete view on the figures. But if the downward spiral continues, I don’t see how an argument can be made to keep people within the five kilometre zone,” he said.
The calls to extend the five kilometres to a wider distance comes after Fianna Fáil have been accused of sending out mixed messages over the past number of weeks.
It’s understood that while it is not the party position that the five kilometre restriction should be lifted before April 5, members of Fianna Fáil are allowed to express their own opinions on the issue.
Fine Gael Councillor Eddie Hoare said that the most important message is to “keep the communications consistent”.
“We just need to sit tight for the next three to four weeks, stay on message, keep the communications consistent and hopefully by the end of the Summer when the rollout of the vaccinations is ramped up, Covid-19 will be behind us,” he said.