WATCH: 'People need to see a light at the end of the tunnel' - Limerick TD

Nick Rabbitts

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Nick Rabbitts

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nick@limerickleader.ie

LIMERICK City TD Kieran O'Donnell has urged government to come up with a policy on exiting lockdown, and living with Covid-19.

Speaking in the Dail sitting at the Dublin Convention Centre yesterday, the Fine Gael man urged Health Minister Stephen Donnelly to help those people see "a light at the end of the tunnel" and "buy into" the level 5 restrictions, which began in earnest this week.

He urged the Health Minister to provide an outline as to the "metrics" used to decide how government will decide when to reduce the restrictions back to level 3.

"We need to see what is the exit mechanism for this current lockdown. The public are entitled to know and if we want the public to support this current lockdown. What's the process by which you will indicate to the public we will exit from lockdown," he asked, "This is what the public needs to know and it must in my view be realistic. If the virus rate is coming down, people need to know what's working. We all want to fight the virus. Many of the public feel some of the measures being brought in will not assist in reducing the virus."

Mr O'Donnell fears many people, particularly the elderly, will find it "impossible" to come through the second lockdown of 2020.

He highlighted the impact it will have on people's mental health.

"For the next six weeks, we must get our positions straightened up so we can come out of lockdown and live with thew virus. We don't know when a vaccine will come. What measures are we putting in place apart from lockdown," he said.

"There are many family businesses out there which may never open again. There are new businesses set up which are struggling. I speak to the business community on a regular basis. They realise there is a requirement to bring in measures now. But what they want to see are, what are the metrics? To get on top of the virus, we must be aggressive, working collectively at every level, and the basics still apply," he said.

"Many people out there who are exceptionally law abiding took a huge level of restrictions on, will now see us going into level 5 and think I did everything by the book. I did nothing wrong. There are areas where there's been abuse of the system. For the public - and I believe reluctantly, they want to fight this, they want for the nect 4-6 weeks, the public can buy into it," he told the Dail sitting.

While Mr Donnelly did not respond during the sitting, he held a private meeting with Mr O'Donnell a short time ago.

There, according to the Limerick TD, he said no "discernible decisions" can be made in terms of the exit strategy for a fortnight.