Calls for support bubbles for those living alone amid ‘cruel’ household visit ban

ireland
Share this article

Digital Desk staff

Support or social bubbles are needed for those living alone or in single parent households amid the nationwide ban on household visits to curb the spread of Covid-19, Labour has said.

Labour Senator Rebecca Moynihan has called on the Government and National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) to consider allowing for support or social bubbles to be formed between those living in more isolated circumstances.

It comes as yesterday a nationwide ban on visits to private homes or gardens was announced by Government in an attempt to stem the spread of Covid-19, while only six people from two households can meet elsewhere outdoors.

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 announcement by the Government yesterday evening that all household visits are to be banned, is unnecessarily blunt and cruel for those living alone,” Senator Moynihan said.

Advertisement

“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,” she said.

Support network

Ms Moynihan suggested the Government follow the lead of countries such as the UK and New Zealand, and publish 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,” she said.

“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.”

It comes as Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris has said he believes that banning household visits could be a “gamechanger” in curbing the spread of Covid-19.

“We do think painful and difficult and annoying as it is, we do think the household visit could potentially be a gamechanger if we got it right,” he said.

Advertisement

"We are about a week into really pushing Level 3 nationwide, and we need to try and give it a little bit more time and that’s why the Taoiseach last night and the Tánaiste and others were rightly saying, let’s take these enhanced Level 3 measures.”

Read More

Want us to email you top stories each lunch time?

Download our Apps
© BreakingNews.ie 2020, developed by Square1 and powered by PublisherPlus.com