Following the Government’s announcement on the 27th of March 2020 of further restrictions to prevent the spread of COVID-19, a full list of essential services has been published, which can be viewed here. Clearly, water services - including those provided by the GWS sector - are recognised as essential services that should continue to operate fully at this time. Water services are essential to preventing the spread of COVID-19, as are the associated services required to keep treatment plants and distribution networks operational. Therefore, these services are not restricted. If any scheme is experiencing difficulties in terms of supply chains, contractors or other, please contact your NFGWS Development Officer immediately.
Every group water scheme should continue to follow both NFGWS COVID-19 advice notes:
- NFGWS COVID-19 Advice Note 1 - 10th March 2020
- NFGWS COVID-19 Advice Note 2 - 20th March 2020
- NFGWS COVID-19 Advice Note 3 - 30th March 2020
- NFGWS COVID-19 Advice Note 4 - 15th May 2020
Schemes that have yet to put the necessary contingency arrangements in place need to do so immediately. NFGWS Development Staff continues to be available to advise and assist schemes through this process.
On the 1st of May, the Government published Return to Work Safely Protocol, which is the COVID-19 Specific National Protocol for employers and workers in Ireland. It is important for Group Water Schemes to familiarise themselves with this document and implement specific measures and contingency arrangements to protect workers and volunteers. One way to create awareness is by erecting appropriate signage and posters on group water scheme sites. Below is an example of the Kileedy GWS, County Limerick (now part of West Limerick GWS) where signage has been displayed to ensure people entering the site are aware of the various measures and requirements.
Examples of appropriate signage and posters:
Further information on COVID-19 can be accessed here:
- Most up to date Government Advice
- ICOS updated advice on COVID-19 Board Meetings 25th May 2020
- Register of Friendly Societies extension to the deadline for Annual Returns in 2020
- NFGWS press release 19th March 2020
- Further information from WHO on COVID-19
- Roadmap for reopening society and business
- Return to Work Safely Protocol