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National lockdowns ‘unfair’ on smaller counties – Westport retailer


UNFAIRLY PENALISED Westport businessman, Adrian Cawley.

Óisin McGovern

A Westport businessman says counties like Mayo are being unfairly penalised by the nationwide Covid-19 restrictions.
Adrian Cawley - who owns Schu-it shoe shop on Westport’s Bridge Street, and Port Femme Ladies Boutique on Shop Street – described the current lockdown as ‘heavy-handed’ and said restrictions should be more localised within certain Covid-19 hotspots.
Speaking to The Mayo News, Cawley said: “It’s hard to say, but I do think the Government need to be more proactive and not penalise the whole country in the same way. Donegal and Dublin were sky-high and we all got penalised for it,” he said, referring to the rates of Covid-19 in the aforementioned counties which remained high despite Level 5 restrictions.
Mayo had the seventh lowest 14-day incidence of Covid-19 in the country when the Government imposed Level 5 restrictions on all 26 counties on October 22.
“I think they’re penalising the smaller, less populated counties based on bigger populations. It’s stopping the rest of country and it’s stopping revenue coming in.”
The Westport businessman added that there was too much scaremongering surrounding the daily reports on the number of new cases. He also claimed that the number of outbreaks traced back to shops, cafés and restaurants was relatively low.
“There’s a lot of scaremongering in the general media with stats. I think they’re needs to be more focus on deaths rather than cases,” he said.
“Cases are cases but they’re not all 100 percent Covid cases. I think they need to have a slight ease off on it. I was reading that cafés and restaurants had very low cases. Everyone had hand sanitizer and protocols and everything in place. People were congregating in there and there was very low contact. The hotels weren’t open long enough to get proper figures.”
HSE data from up until October 24 showed out of 6,228 Covid-19 outbreaks, 9 were traced back to hotels, with 33 in restaurants and cafés and 23 in retail settings.