Tag Archives: cocooning

Elderly man walks in Bray, Co Wicklow last month before the Government called for people aged over 70 to “cocoon”; tweets from Irish marine journalist Tom MacSweeney

This morning.

Kathy Sheridan, in The Irish Times, wrote about people aged over 70 having to “cocoon” which she described as “mandatory confinement”.

She writes:

They have put on their game faces. None of them lacks awareness of the pressing reasons behind the lockdown or is seeking to place blame.

But it is a very odd situation where a supermarket can organise separate, safe shopping hours for people who are older or vulnerable while the incalculable psychological and physical benefits of a short walk outdoors are denied to them.

A designated “walking hour” each day – or even the luxury choice of an hour in the morning or evening – for the over-70s is hardly an insuperable ask.

In fairness.

Kathy Sheridan: Let the over-70s have a walk (The Irish Times)


This morning.

At a press briefing in Government Buildings, Tánaiste Simon Coveney was asked how long the “cocooning” restriction will continue.

He said:

“As you know the Government takes its advice from the chief medical officer [Tony Holohan] and his team and the national public health emergency team but I do think people do need to realise that these restrictions may go on for some time.

“I think it’s wrong to put a timeline on it. We’ve set an initial period [until Easter] but I think that it may well be that we will need to go beyond that initial guideline but again that will be a decision taken with the best public health advice that we can get.”

The “cocooning” phase affects people over 70 and those who are medically vulnerable.

They are not allowed to leave their homes and are to have no interaction or minimal interaction with other people. It’s currently scheduled to remain in place until Easter Sunday, April 12.

Previously: “There’s No Fate But What We Make For Ourselves”

From top: Bedrooms of direct provision centres in Cork City; Roscrea, Co Tipperary; Swords; Miltown Malbay, Co Clare; Cahersiveen, Co Kerry; Newbridge, Co Kildare; tweet from the Kinsale Road Accommodation Centre in Cork City and a tweet from Graham Clifford, of The Sanctuary Runners

Various refugee and asylum seeker support groups have been calling on the Department of Justice to move people deemed to be the “most vulnerable” out of direct provision centres because of Covid-19.

It comes as asylum seekers, some of whom are healthcare workers, say the Government’s direction for people to maintain “social distancing”, “self-isolation” and “cocooning” is impossible at centres where, in most cases, several people share single rooms.

It also follows councils and the Government spending money on information campaigns about social distancing in public places and on facilities such as Dublin Bus.

Last week it was reported that residents in a direct-provision centre in the west of Ireland were informed a person in their building had tested positive for Covid-19.

Further to this, the Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland (MASI) write:

“Disgraceful but not surprising that the Department of Justice and Equality refused to provide self-contained units for asylum seekers.

Dublin Region Homeless Executive said it would source self-contained units for people in emergency accommodation so that they can observe social distancing. We hope other service providers for homeless people do the same.

The handling of Covid-19 in Direct Provision shows us once more than the provision of accommodation for asylum seekers should be taken away from the Department of Justice and Equality. Direct Provision operators will always put profits above everything.

Solidarity with people in overcrowded accommodation at this time.”

Meanwhile, MASI has posted the following video from the Grand Hotel Direct Provision Centre in Wicklow where a “self-isolation” room is being set up…


A petition calling on the Department of Justice to move people deemed to be “at risk” of Covid-19 out of direct provision can be signed here.

Previously: No Room To Isolate