THE streets and beaches of Cork were almost deserted on the first day of the country's lockdown.
A few people were spotted getting some exercise but there was nothing like the scenes of the previous weekend when beaches and parks attracted large crowds.
Under lockdown, people have been advised to stay at home, with a number of specific exceptions such as food shopping or travelling to 'essential work'.
There were long queues outside supermarkets across Cork yesterday, as strict social distancing guidelines were imposed.
Shoppers queued outside supermarkets, at distances of two metres apart, as the numbers allowed into shops at any given time were limited for the safety of staff and customers.
The National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) has recommended that all non-essential retail outlets will close to members of the public and all other retail outlets are to implement physical distancing.
The Government has released a list of workers who are deemed essential during the Covid-19 pandemic.
These workers are identified as exempt from the lockdown with was ordered by the Government and came into effect at midnight.
All those who are not deemed essential are ordered to remain at home.
Seven key groups have been identified as exempt.
Those groups are:
- Healthcare and social care
- Public and civil service
- Utilities such as electricity, gas and water
- Necessary goods, ie food and medicines
- Financial services
- Communications including journalists
- Employers whose organisation is providing an essential service should identify those employees (including sub-contractors and so on) who are essential to the provision of the service and notify them.
They must also ensure that the latest public health guidance should be followed at all times.
If an employee has been notified by their employer that they are essential, they are permitted to travel to and from work.
When travelling to and from work, employees should at all times have work identification or a letter from their employer indicating that they are an essential employee as well as one other form of ID.
Those who are self-employed, a farmer or an agricultural worker or a member of the clergy should carry one form of ID at all times.
The list of essential workers is below.
- Farm labourers
- Farm relief service workers others involved directly or indirectly in crop and animal production and related activities (including veterinary services), and workers involved in fishing
- The manufacture of food and beverage products
- The manufacture of prepared animal feeds
- The manufacture of work-wear apparel or footwear
- The manufacture of pulp, paper and paperboard and wood
- The printing and reproduction of newspapers and other media services
- The manufacturing of coke and refined petroleum products
- The manufacturing of alumina; chemicals and chemical products
- The manufacture of pharmaceutical products and pharmaceutical preparations
- The manufacture of products necessary for the supply chain of essential services; computer, electronic and optical products including semi-conductors; electrical equipment, machinery and other equipment (including agricultural and forestry machinery); medical devices; and medical and dental equipment and supplies
- The supply, repair and installation of machinery and equipment and industrial machinery and equipment for essential services
- Electric power generation, transmission and distribution
- Extraction and distribution of gas
- Water collection, treatment and supply
- Sewerage; waste collection, remediation activities and other waste management treatment and disposal activities
- Essential health and related projects relevant to the COVID-19 crisis, and supplies necessary for such projects
- Repair/construction of critical road and utility infrastructure
- Delivery of emergency services to businesses and homes on an emergency call-out basis in areas such as electrical, plumbing, glazing and roofing
- Retail services in accordance with the separate “Updated Essential Retail Outlets” list
- Wholesale and distribution services necessary for the sale of food, beverages, fuel, medicines, medical products and devices and essential household products; takeaways and food delivery services
- Land transport (for example, bus, rail and taxi services)
- Road, rail, sea and air freight
- Sea and air passenger services; ports and airports
- Warehousing and support activities for transportation including cargo-handling; postal and courier activities; network control and critical maintenance (including roads); and safety-related functions
- The publishing of newspapers, journals and periodicals as well as video, television programme production, sound recording, radio and television broadcasting; wired and satellite and telecommunications activities; internet and cloud providers; data centres and related services
Financial and legal activities:
- Banking and financial services (including banks, credit unions and post offices)
- accountancy, legal and insurance services necessary to support essential services and vulnerable people
- Engineering, technical testing activities and analysis
- Scientific research and development activities
- Regulation, inspection and certification services necessary to support essential services
Rental and Leasing Activities:
- Rental and lease of cars
- Light motor vehicles and trucks necessary to support the provision of essential services
- Where necessary to support other essential services.
- Employment placement and human resources associated with the recruitment and deployment of workers
- Security activities to assist in the delivery of essential services and the securing of premises closed to the public cleaning of buildings and industrial
- Cleaning activities; business support activities which are necessary to support essential services included on this list; payroll and payment services necessary for the operation of businesses; data processing, hosting and related activities
- An Garda Siochana, Garda Staff and the Garda Reserve
- Public order, safety, fire service and ambulance activities
- The Defence Forces
- Emergency call answering service to ensure administration of justice
- Prison services and Child Detention services
- Regulatory processes and certification required to ensure supply chains, food, medicine and general process safety
- Operation of botanical gardens, parks, forests and nature reserves
- Funeral services
- Religious personnel
- Office-holders and public representatives
- Hospital services
- Paramedical and essential therapy activities
- Public health activities (including all those deployed to contract tracing and COVID-19 testing services)
- Laboratory services
- Drug treatment and addiction services
- Hospice services
- Pharmacy services
- Primary care, general and specialist medical practice activities provided by public and private providers
- Emergency dental practice activities
- Blood donation service
- Residential care activities (including nursing care, mental health and substance abuse, elderly and persons with disabilities, children’s residential services)
- Homecare, home help and other community services
- Social work and social care activities (including disability services, mental health, child protection and welfare, domestic, sexual and gender-based violence, homeless services including outreach)
- Ambulance/pre-hospital emergency care services
- Minor injury units
- Maternity services
- Health, social work, environmental, food safety regulatory activities
- Community and voluntary workers, working in a publicly commissioned service, not otherwise included on the list, deployed to assist in the delivery of essential services
- Volunteer services operating under the local authority emergency management framework in accordance with public health guidance.