Coping with restrictions


Sir, – Retailers have met the relevant government Minister to clarify Level 5 restrictions on the sale of non-essential items. Any chance this clarification could be shared with the public?

Can I, for example, buy birthday cards, flowers, or a new kettle to replace my broken one, or must I purchase online and wait for delivery?

I hope someone in Government who is sufficiently qualified, senior and well-paid, has been tasked with clarifying and compiling the definitive list of “essential” items.

In Wales similar restrictions meant customers in some stores were unable to purchase children’s clothes, heaters, umbrellas, books, and even sanitary products, as retailers themselves arbitrarily determined what was essential or not. I am struggling to see the public health rationale for these additional restrictions, which did not exist in the earlier full lockdown.

Unless they are necessary to reduce the spread of Covid there can be no justification for imposing further limitations on what we can buy and where we can buy it.

While I have much sympathy for small retailers – as I do for hairdressers, restaurant and pub owners and anyone whose business is at risk – I resent this imposition of additional restrictions on my already restricted life, just to appease a particular business sector and interest group. – Yours, etc,


Skerries, Co Dublin.

Sir, – Many are complaining that Nphet is scaremongering and causing the country to grind to a halt, but it is the spread of the virus that is causing any problems. In a medical emergency sensible people follow the advice of doctors and scientists. The official line on Covid-19 in the US seems to be that it is fake news/defeated/a gift from God and we all can see how that is working out for the American public. The ultimate civil liberty is to be allowed to stay alive. – Yours, etc,


Stillorgan, Co Dublin.

Sir, – The Government must now grasp the nettle of Christmas travel from overseas. If the usual flood of returning travellers is allowed happen we will, yet again, be creating conditions for a further enormous surge of Covid-19 outbreaks.

On previous occasions (such as during foot and mouth epidemics) intending travellers were asked to cancel their trips in the national interest – which most of them did. The only realistic option is to ban Christmas travel and for all of us to behave unselfishly. – Yours, etc,


Co Galway.

Sir, – Have we become a nation of begrudgers, bemoaners and complainers? I believe there has always been a certain amount of Nimbyism in the country, but I feel this attitude of selfishness is spreading north and south east and west, more than pandemic itself.

Businesses, sporting groups such as golf and tennis clubs even various church groups are questioning why they can’t open if they can show evidence they are complying with the regulations?

While the Government and Nphet may admit that they haven’t got everything right, I feel it’s impossible for them to do so, or introduce regulations to fit all circumstances.

It’s time I think we took one for the “team” ie, the frontlines, the doctors, nurses, ambulance workers, cleaners supermarket staff, bus and train drivers and all keeping the economy going.

Look at the big picture: the regulations are there for the greater good, support the team and we will all be winners in the long run. – Yours, etc,


Dún Laoghaire, Co Dublin.

A chara, – As a lifelong walker, I enjoyed, and was glad to read, Brian Hutton’s interesting, and topical report, “A nation takes to its feet, walking ourselves out of lockdown” (Home News, October 28th, October). When we go out walking we enjoy, in my view, the greatest lifelong recreational activity, available and free for all of us, whether living in urban or rural areas. It is good for our physical and mental well-being, particularly in these challenging times. I agree with Sports Ireland, that everyone is advised to get walking and keep walking; it is now the “smart in-thing to do”. Everyone is doing it ! – Is mise,


Founder President,

Irish Ramblers Club,

An Charraig Dhubh,

Co Átha Cliath.

Sir, – What, if any, is the public health advice on members of the public asking non-mask wearing members of the public to wear a mask in shops?

I imagine the advice is: don’t do it because the effect is worse than coronavirus. – Yours, etc,


Clonsilla, Dublin 15.

A chara, – One of the more regrettable responses to the recent Covid-19 lockdown has come from a small number of Catholic commentators (and, indeed, a handful of priests) who have chosen to adopt a persecution complex in the face of government regulations. Not since the Penal Days has our right to publicly practise our faith been removed, they argue; Ireland is now one of the only places in Europe where freedom of worship is denied. The suggestion that the “bad old days” of persecution are back makes me wonder if Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann should protest over the Government’s attack on our traditional Irish music; or if Conradh na Gaeilge should highlight the smothering of Irish language coircail comhrá up and down the country; or the GAA, the attack on our native games at club level.

While I fully appreciate the sadness of so many church-goers in not being able to currently worship together, one thing this is not is religious persecution. And to make even the slightest of associations between the two is an insult to the countless Christians around the world who are actually experiencing the real thing. – Yours, etc,


Pontifical University,

St Patrick’s College,

Maynooth, Co Kildare.