We use cookies to improve our site and your experience.

By continuing to browse on this website you accept the use of cookies.

Privacy Notice

The Covid diaries: Day 34 - The Irish Understanding

The Covid diaries: Day 34 - The Irish Understanding

A daily fly-on-the-wall blog about running a legal business during the Covid-19 crisis.

By Dónall Breen - 4 May

As an employer lawyer with my foot in two jurisdictions (Ireland and the UK), it is often interesting to see how they interact. In jurisprudence, the UK tends to be a trend-setter with the Irish courts often looking to UK cases for guidance on novel points of law. To be honest, this really helps with my two-hat work.

But now and again, Ireland is the first mover. With a smaller population and less complex political structure, it tends to be more nimble for those 'think on your feet' moments. Covid-19 has been one of them.

The latest news is that over the weekend Ireland has published its road map for reopening society and business. It is a little light on specific detail for now but my educated guess is that it is going to look similar in many European countries (as they specifically refer to high level discussion happening at EU level). Therefore, it is worth a little glance if you have time (page 10 and 11 are about reopening workplaces and businesses).

Just a few headline points:

  • They admit that economically supporting all affected businesses and employees will not be feasible in the long run.
  • As expected, those who can work from home will be the last to be allowed to return to work.
  • Outdoor workplaces will the the first to reopen with shopping malls and hairdressers some of the last (expected August).
  • Nothing about the pubs reopening (sad face).
  • All arrivals from outside the state to self isolate for 14 days. There seems to be no exception for the UK, although not clear how they would enforce this for Northern Ireland. I expect there will be more detail on this soon.
  • No guidance on employers being able to run temperature check or Covid-19 tests (if available).

They say it will be a living document, updated as things develop, so I imagine more detail will be pencilled in as things go on.

Probably just a passing interest for most of you but good to have some clarity for a close neighbour all the same.

Ireland be nimble, Ireland be quick, Ireland be good at dealing with this virus stick.

If you would like to read our Covid diaries starting from day 1 please click here.