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Emergency Health Bill – COVID-19

In response to the COVID-19 emergency the Dail has passed the Health (Preservation and Protection and other Emergency Measure in the Public Interest) Bill 2020.  At the time of writing this bill has been passed to the Senead for ratification. 

The Bill amends the Social Welfare Consolidation Act 2005 and the Health Act 1947 and has been drafted to stem the spread of the disease by conferring extra powers on the relevant Departments until 9th May 2020 to deal with the immediate, exceptional and manifest risk to human life and public health. 

Main Provisions 

Social Welfare Consolidation Act 

In the circumstances where citizens have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or are a probable source of infection of COVID-19, the Bill allows for illness benefit to be paid from the third day of any period of incapacity for work.  Furthermore, the criteria required to satisfy qualification for illness benefit is expanded.  

Health Act 1947 

In order to prevent and limit the spread of COVID-19 the Minister is seeking powers to: –  

  • Restrict travel to and from the State 
  • Restrict travel to and from affected areas outside the State 
  • Order persons returning from affected areas to remain in their homes 
  • Close down gatherings which are reasonably considered to pose a risk of infection 
  • Regulate the safeguards required by event organisers in relation to events 
  • Regulate the safeguards required by owners and occupiers (including temporary closure) to protect citizen health 

These powers are sought in order to prevent the spread of the virus and where an emergency has arisen of such character that there is an immediate risk to human life. 

In these uncertain and concerning times we urge all our customers to keep safe. 


If you have any queries or would like further information, please contact David Whelan of Keating Connolly Sellors Solicitors on 061 414 355 or [email protected] 



Published On: March 23, 2020

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