A man wearing a face mask walks past a closed pub in Dublin city centre, Monday, March 16, 2020. Image Credit: AP

Like millions of others around the world, Gulf News Foreign Correspondent Mick O’Reilly is currently under Covid-19 lockdown. This is what life is like in social isolation in Ireland, where there are strict rules about who is allowed out, where, and under limited circumstances.

Day 21

Sunday, April 19


It’s encouraging to see that in France, authorities there are making plans to begin opening up their nation after six weeks of lockdown.

But in typically French fashion where liberty, equality and fraternity are watchwords, the government of President Emmanuel Macron is looking to avoid setting different rules for different people.

In many nations, those over 70 are being treated differently, and are not supposed to leave their places of residence to go out shopping or for other reasons.

Speculation had grown in recent days over whether older people, who are considered more vulnerable to the deadly virus, would be told to stay at home for longer.

Comments this week in France’s Senate by Professor Jean-Francois Delfraissy – who heads the scientific council advising the government on the epidemic – in particular sparked a backlash, after he said that for people aged 65 or 70, the confinement order could continue.

“The President has followed the growing debate about the situation for elderly citizens after May 11,” the Elysee palace said. “He does not want there to be any discrimination among citizens after May 11 in the context of a gradual easing of confinement measures, and will appeal to people’s individual responsibility.”

Whatever way they do it, again, it’s just a welcome sign that things are starting to revert to a semblance of normal in the near future.