Dáil meets to pass emergency coronavirus bill

The Dáil meets today to pass emergency laws to deal with the impact of the coronavirus.

All stages of the omnibus bill are expected to pass during a 10-hour sitting with reduced attendance.

The vast package of measures being passed today was revealed by the government earlier this week and covers multiple Government departments.

The €3.7bn social welfare package will see payments provided to people who lose work because of the crisis.

New laws temporarily banning evictions and rent increases are also due to be debated alongside justice, defence and health measures.

A reduced number of TDs will meet in order to allow for social distancing in the Dáil chamber and the Leinster House complex.

The Dáil will also elect a Leas Ceann Comhairle - likely to be Independent TD Denis Naughten.

These may be the last laws the Oireachtas can pass some time.

The Ceann Comhairle has warned it will lose the power to legislate from midnight on Sunday.

The new Seanad will be elected next week - but won't be able to sit until there is a new government, putting extra pressure on the efforts from Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil to form one.

    Useful information
  • The HSE have developed an information pack on how to protect yourself and others from coronavirus. Read it here
  • Anyone with symptoms of coronavirus who has been in close contact with a confirmed case in the last 14 days should isolate themselves from other people - this means going into a different, well-ventilated room alone, with a phone; phone their GP, or emergency department;
  • GPs Out of Hours services are not in a position to order testing for patients with normal cold and flu-like symptoms. HSELive is an information line and similarly not in a position to order testing for members of the public. The public is asked to reserve 112/999 for medical emergencies at all times.
  • ALONE has launched a national support line and additional supports for older people who have concerns or are facing difficulties relating to the outbreak of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) in Ireland. The support line will be open seven days a week, 8am-8pm, by calling 0818 222 024