Kildare senator calls for examination of Covid restrictions

Gym closure a big issue across all ages says Senator Fiona O'Loughlin

Henry Bauress


Henry Bauress


Kildare senator calls for examination of Covid restrictions

Golf and health treatment should be examined

Kildare Fianna Fáil Senator, Fiona O'Loughlin, has praised the work of public health officials but she has called on the Government to begin assessing restrictions as Christmas approaches.

She said there are areas that we need to relook at in terms of restrictions that could have a great benefit for our health and wellbeing. “The feedback I have received from people of all age groups is that the closure of gyms is one thing they find particularly difficult to deal with.” 

Golf and health treatment should also be examined

She said gyms went to huge lengths to comply with Covid protocols, introducing temperature checks, stringent sanitisation rules, and limited training groups.  “With no evidence of any significant clusters coming from gyms, I think it's time to re-evaluate their status and consider them an essential service.”

  Senator O'Loughlin said Ireland currently has the fastest improving incidence of Covid-19 in Europe with a 43 per cent drop in the last two weeks.  “We cannot drop our guard while our hardworking public health officials grapple with testing, tracing and containment issues, but we also need to look at how we can allow people to  live healthy and positive lives under heightened restrictions.”  

She said Santa has been given an exemption to enable him to get to every child as normal but said that  early decisions must be made regarding the travel plans for Irish people living abroad.  “Many of them have not seen family members for almost a year now and have elderly relatives they need to visit.  People need clarity in order to book flights. Rapid testing at airports is a vital component in making international travel to Ireland possible.”

Senator O’Loughlin said another area that should be relooked at is the area of alternative health-treatments like reflexology- which apart from being helpful in treating anxiety and stress are complementary to traditional medicine for serious illnesses.

“We should also look at non-contact sports like golf, which is one of the most popular sports and exercise activities in Ireland. It is widely accepted that playing a non-contact sport in a wide-open outdoor space is one of the safest things people can do recreationally during a pandemic. The evidence shows that among older people, golfers are stronger, have better balance and live longer than equivalent non-golfers.”

She called on people to  do their best to shop locally and support local businesses as we approach the Christmas season.