Domestic violence victims exempt from 2km travel restriction

Daily briefing reveals 570 employers have not disclosed their bank details to Revenue

Liz Canavan of the Department of the Taoiseach  told the media on Friday that discussions are ongoing with judges, barristers and solicitors to allow full court hearings to take place using remote technology. File photograph: Collins

Liz Canavan of the Department of the Taoiseach told the media on Friday that discussions are ongoing with judges, barristers and solicitors to allow full court hearings to take place using remote technology. File photograph: Collins

 

People affected by domestic violence will be exempt from the two kilometre-from-home travel restriction that is in place during the Covid-19 crisis.

At the daily Government briefing on Friday, on the State’s response to the pandemic, it was disclosed that an exemption will be made for people affected by violence.

It will be added to the small list of exempted activities relating to the two kilometres rule. People are required to stay within a two kilometre limit of their homes unless they are shopping for essential groceries or medicines, of if they are workers who are involved in providing essential services.

The briefing, delivered by a senior civil servant, heard the Garda Síochána has prioritised reports of domestic abuse as a time when families are confined to their homes and there is evidence that domestic violence incidents have increased.

Separately, the courts service is piloting technology that will allow full court hearings to be held remotely once the new legal term begins after Easter.

Until now remote hearings using video links have been used for the most urgent cases. Liz Canavan of the Department of an Taoiseach told the briefing that discussions are ongoing with judges, barristers and solicitors to allow full hearings to take place using remote technology.

The aim is to have the service in operation in time for the new legal term. The court hearings will be in full and afforded all protections, complying with all the rules of evidence and procedure.

Some 570 employers have not disclosed their bank details to Revenue, the briefing also heard, resulting in employees missing out on €2.19 million in top-up payments. Ms Canavan said a minority of employers are not yet registered with the Revenue online service (ROS).

The briefing also warned about a contact tracing scam where people receive a text purporting to come from health authorities, identifying the person as a contact for a person diagnosed with Covid-19. Ms Canavan said people might confuse the texts received with a new official app on Covid-19 contact tracing that is being developed at present and will be available over the coming days.

Households were once again warned not to over-shop. Ms Canavan said that waste companies had reported large increases in the volume of unused food items being dumped in domestic bins.

She said that over-shopping affected the natural balance of supply and demand in the grocery trade and there was no need for it, as there was no shortage of any item or no risk to supply chains at present.

She reiterated the Government message to ask people to stay at home this Easter and not to take “unnecessary journeys” to holiday homes.

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