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Health Minister Faces Criticism On Comments Surrounding Covid Restrictions

Opposition is growing in the Dáil to the government's plans to extend emergency COVID powers until November 9th.

The regulations give effect to many restrictions including mask wearing, bans on mass gatherings and requiring people to stay in their homes.

Yesterday the Seanad approved the five month extension to the government's emergency powers with Health Minister Stephen Donnelly saying they're still needed for a time

That extension wouldn't mean all restrictions would last until November - but would give the government the power to bring them back if there's another COVID surge.

The opposition however thinks the time frame is too long.

Sinn Féin is pushing for a July expiry date - as are the Social Democrats,

Labour has suggested a September expiry - while People Before Profit think they should expire immediately.

One of the big issues is the lack of a clear sunset clause for the ending of the emergency powers, and an ability in this bill for the government to keep extending it in three month intervals after November.

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