It is unacceptable that State funded day services for people with a disability and older people remain closed, or only available for part of the week, despite the fact that both users and staff are fully vaccinated, Denis Naughten told the Dáil last week.
He pointed out: “Schools reopened last February and public transport services will be increased to 75pc from July 19 but for people who are fully vaccinated – like those in disability training centres where as little as 20% capacity is being provided or older people where there has been no day service whatsoever since March 2020 – we are still awaiting Public Health advice and a Government direction on reopening,” said Denis Naughten.
“And while I sincerely hope that the hospitality sector reopens next week, why has Government been so slow to reopen day services across this country?
“Older people and people with a disability have suffered the most over the last 16 months, so why are they not now entitled to a vaccine bonus?”
“It is completely unacceptable that the doors of these vital days services, for the most vulnerable in our society, remain closed or are only open for part of the week.”
Responding to Deputy Naughten Minister Eamon Ryan said: “I commit that the next phase in the reopening has to include day care services, which are critical. If we can be successful, as we have been doing in our step-by-step and cautious but considered approach, I have every confidence that we will see those services restored. They are critical, not just for the health of individuals but also for their families. There are also all the other knock-on consequences of not having them available.
correspondence from the HSE on reopening: training centres