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Businesses need more clarity on social distancing measures

June 11th, 2020 11:45 AM

By Southern Star Team

A crane driver at a construction site in Bandon has no problem with social distancing, but now many firms are calling for a relaxation in the 2m rule. (Photo: Andrew Harris)

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BUSINESSES need urgent clarity on social distancing as debate intensifies whether 1m or 2m social distancing is required.

That’s according to Cork South West TD Christopher O’Sullivan (FF) who is urging the government to act quickly and decisively around exact social distancing measures needed during the reopening phase of the recovery.

He said businesses are expressing fears over how much capacity they will be allowed have under current rules.

‘Specifically, businesses are worried a 2m social distancing provision will severely cut down the number of customers allowed into premises at a time when they are needed most. Current WHO advice calls for 1m social distancing.

‘We need to get SMEs – the backbone of our communities - through the pandemic, and we need to make sure they are still there to get us through a recession. The fear being expressed by many small businesses in West Cork is they may not be there post-pandemic,’ Deputy O’Sullivan said.

‘Most of the businesses I spoke to have small spaces to deal with and cutting the distance to 1m in line with WHO advice would significantly increase their capacity.

“I’m always inclined to be guided by the expert medical advice, but we’re seeing hints in the media the government is toying with speeding up the roadmap phases provided cases continue to drop.

‘Giving businesses definitive answers sooner rather than later will give them ample time to plan their roles in the recovery. They need adequate time to plan and adequate time to make whatever changes are required to make their businesses safe.’

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