Government aware of impact of Covid-19 on young people, Minister says

ireland
Government Aware Of Impact Of Covid-19 On Young People, Minister Says Government Aware Of Impact Of Covid-19 On Young People, Minister Says
Paschal Donohoe said any changes to public health guidelines were going to be gradual. Photo: PA Images.
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Vivienne Clarke

The Government is very aware of the impact of Covid-19 on young people and the need to get them back to “some sort of normal life”, the Minister for Finance has said.

Paschal Donohoe told RTÉ radio’s Today with Claire Byrne show that the Government, along with teachers and schools, was working very hard to plan a way for students to return to school after Easter.

Any changes to public health guidelines were going to be gradual and would build on the progress made to date, he added.

The Cabinet will meet next week to decide on what changes will be made, he explained, after meeting with the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) and the Cabinet’s Covid subcommittee.

Mr Donohoe said he understood the strain and frustration of the public, “but we are making progress” and there was a really strong vaccination programme in place.

Construction and hospitality

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When asked about the construction and hospitality sectors, the Minister said that the Government had responsibility for all sectors and for the health of the country. They were trying to get the balance right for everyone. All things were being considered “so carefully.”

Mr Donohoe also said that he and Minister of State Sean Fleming were in contact with Insurance Ireland about reports that people were being refused mortgage protection insurance if they had contracted Covid-19. Applications for such insurance should be examined on a case by case basis, he said.

The Minister said he had seen enough evidence about mortgages not being approved for applicants where their employer had availed of the Employer Wage Subsidy Scheme. The practice was happening on a general basis and the issue would be raised with the banks. The Covid supports were an indication that such businesses were going to recover.

The Employer Wage Subsidy Scheme should not be a reason why a person cannot get a mortgage, he said. It was one of the strongest support systems in Europe.

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