The fact the Government has included visiting a grave as an essential purpose, which allows for travel outside the permitted 5km limit during the six weeks of level 5 lockdown, will be “a great solace” according to one of Ireland’s top psychiatrists.
UCD lecturer Prof. Patricia Casey also told The Irish Catholic that churches being allowed to remain open for private prayer under the Government’s restrictions will help people get through the second lockdown.
“It’s obviously very important that people are able to visit graves, it brings comfort to people, it brings solace, it can help people feel closer to their loved one,” Prof Casey said.
“So I’m pleased that is included specifically as an exception to the 5km rule, I think it’s also very important that churches are allowed to remain open so that people can go there for private prayer in the absence of being able to attend churches for Mass, at least people will get some comfort and spiritual assistance from being able to have private prayer in churches.”
“I personally don’t see why they can’t allow church services with proper social distancing and facial coverings as well but that’s the Government decision, in the absence of that this is the next best option although it’s far from ideal.”
She said that this is even more important for the second lockdown “for the simple reason that having had one lockdown and now being faced with another people are absolutely exhausted from Covid-19, I think very many people are angry about this and I think these facilities and exemptions to the lockdown are important”.
Other essential purposes which allow people to travel outside the 5km include travelling to work which is listed as an essential service, attending medical appointments or getting medical products, attending a wedding or funeral and farming purposes.
Up to 25 guests can attend wedding ceremonies, receptions and funerals under level 5 restrictions which will last for six weeks.