Responding to the changes in the self-isolation rules agreed by Cabinet, Irish Congress of Trade Unions general secretary Patricia King said:
Throughout this pandemic, Congress has consistently called for decisions to be based on public health advice.
Unions are acutely aware of the surging case numbers and the knock-on effect for workers who are close contacts and for public services and businesses.
The amendments to isolation periods recommended by the Chief Medical Officer Dr. Tony Holohan to Government are not without risk as already outlined by the ECDC in their very recent report. Therefore we must continue to be cautious.
Given the current rate of virus transmission, these changes must be kept under constant review by NPHET. Employers must be required to provide their staff with the recommended high-grade masks and supply antigen tests, as needed. The Enhanced Illness Benefit should continue to be available to workers who need it.
It is expected that the Stakeholder Forum of the Safety Protocol will convene in the coming days to further discuss the implications of these changes in workplaces.