TDs strongly encouraged to wear masks while attending Dáil

Ceann Comhairle says measure plays important role in keeping members safe

Taoiseach Micheal Martin arriving at the Convention Centre for a Dáil session earlier this month. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Taoiseach Micheal Martin arriving at the Convention Centre for a Dáil session earlier this month. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

 

TDs have been “strongly encouraged” to wear face coverings in Leinster House and the Convention Centre under new advice issued by Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl.

The advice extends to the Dáil chamber and in committee rooms, but only when members are not making a contribution or speaking to the House.

In a note sent to members of the Dáil this morning, Mr Ó Fearghaíl wrote that “the return to normal levels of parliamentary activity following the formation of Government requires extra vigilance and adherence” to core public health measures such as hand hygiene, physical distancing and respiratory etiquette.

He continued: “The wearing of a face covering can play an important part in indoor settings where it is not always possible to adhere to 2 metre social distancing.”

Therefore, I am strongly encouraging Members to wear a face covering in shared spaces and circulation areas, where at all possible, with effect from today… I would also encourage Memebrs to wear face coverings in the Chamber and in Committee rooms, when members are not speaking or making a contribution.”

The note outlines that while members are requested to use their own face coverings, there will be reusable and disposable masks made available if required. Similar guidance is set to be issued to parliamentary staff and other users of the buildings.

“This measure is an important step for the protection of Members and staff. It is consistent with the most recent public health advice, and I look forward to your operation in this regard,” the advice finishes.