IBEC, the group that represents Irish businesses, has said that the decision from the Government to move the whole of the country to Level 5 Covid restrictions was an inevitability given the much-publicised growth of cases and predicted hospital capacity constraint.
The absence of a clear articulation of the suppression goal in contrast to mitigation or even elimination strategies based on explicit cost-benefit analysis remains striking.
Given the decision has been made, and that the costs for livelihoods has once again been committed, it is now up to all societal stakeholders, including the business community, to abide by and engage fully with the Level 5 protocols so that we can best secure the benefits.
While more activities are open than in the more extreme lockdown of earlier this year, it’s important that as much remote and home working as possible is undertaken to facilitate the school, manufacturing, and construction activities operating. In the circumstances where many businesses and workers will lose their livelihoods, it is positive to see the extension of the safeguard of financial supports, such as the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme and the Pandemic Unemployment Payment on foot of tonight’s dramatic decision.
It is now urgent that such supports are channeled to those businesses and workers most impacted by the impending restrictions.