For updates on Coronavirus visit:
COVID-19 resources translated into various languages
This update is also available on www.accommodationcentres.ie
Message from IPAS Team
Dear Residents, Friends of the Centre and NGO colleagues,
We hope this newsletter finds you well. It has been a difficult time for everyone since the COVID-19 pandemic emerged. There have been a lot of changes for residents in the care of IPAS and a number of you have been asked to move to new locations, often at short notice. We know this hasn’t been easy and we want to thank everyone involved for their understanding and cooperation. We have been working closely with health authorities at national level to devise measures to safeguard residents as much as possible.
In particular, IPAS has ensured arrangements are in place for residents who may be particularly vulnerable due to their age or a health condition. In general, we have sought to reduce the number of residents in our centres to create more space for self-isolation and social distancing.
As you know we would usually engage in more active consultation with residents who are being asked to move and allow far more time but our over-riding priority was your health and that meant responding rapidly to protect everyone, especially those most vulnerable in our centres. We continue to work closely with the HSE.
We are also assisting those residents working in health care in providing support and advice. We want residents in this position to be able to continue to provide these essential services in a safe way. Further information is provided below.
As you will have seen on Centre posters, on TV and online, social distancing is really important at this time. We respectfully ask that you do everything you can to comply with the social distancing measures in centres and in temporary accommodation – this will keep you safer and keep those you care about and your fellow residents safer. It is not easy but everyone in the country is being asked to follow the HSE advice to slow down and contain the spread of this virus.
Finally, we again thank each and every one of you for your ongoing cooperation and wish you good health.
Residents with complex medical conditions
IPAS and HSE have been working on cocooning the most vulnerable residents (over 65s and people with complex medical conditions). If you have a medical condition that requires consideration and have not already made contact, please e-mail email@example.com with details of your case.
COVID-19 in plain English
The National Adult Literacy Agency (NALA) has compiled a list of words about COVID-19 with plain English explanations which you may find useful. Click here to access the resource.
Temporary Residence Card Expiring
Residents whose Temporary Residence Card (TRC) or ‘Blue Card’ is due to expire shortly should automatically receive a renewal card in the post from the International Protection Office (IPO).
Important: If you have recently moved from your accommodation centre to a new location, please contact the manager at your previous centre to ensure any post is forwarded to your new location – or please provide the details to your new centre manager and ask them to contact the manager of your previous centre. This is to ensure that your replacement card reaches you as there is a possibility it may have been sent to your old address.
Residents who have concerns about their replacement card should contact the IPO customer help desk by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note that the IPO is currently unable to issue renewal cards to people in person at our public office in Dublin. This is due to Government measures on social distancing and restriction of movement during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Contact information for Legal Aid Board clients in IPAS accommodationThe Legal Aid Board has asked us to remind residents that there is a designated mobile number that you can ring to receive Legal Aid Board information on your international protection application. The number can be used by applicants to communicate with the Legal Aid Board regarding their case.
The number is (087) 456 3066 and is open Monday to Friday 10am-12.30pm and 2pm-4pm.
Update on Self-isolation facilities
We have been working with the HSE and with some non-profit organisations (such as the Peter McVerry Trust) to establish self-isolation facilities. To date we have opened centres in Dublin and Cork. This week self-isolation centres will open in Limerick and Dundalk and we will have centres in place in Galway and Waterford shortly.
These facilities are for:
Temporary HSE accommodation for healthcare workersAt this point, your centre manager should have advised you of the temporary accommodation and self-isolation arrangements being made available by the HSE for eligible healthcare workers during the COVID-19 response. Residents in IPAS accommodation employed in:
We strongly urge anyone working in a healthcare setting to avail of this measure by completing the form, and returning it to your employer as soon as possible. Your employer must send the form to the designated Community Health Organisation contact in your area. Full details are set out in the procedure. Accommodation Centre managers have been requested to leave printed copies of the application form at reception and to publicly display details of the procedure up on the Centre’s notice board.
We want to assure you that your accommodation in the centre will be held if you are temporarily relocated by the HSE under this measure.
Resources for children
We know the closure of schools presents huge challenges. In this section we provide links to some activity and educational resources you may find useful.
The Department of Education and Skills and the Irish office of UNHCR have kindly provided some educational resources for children to help keep them busy during this period. This link to a children’s story aims to explain COVID-19 in child friendly terms:
My Hero is You, Storybook for Children on COVID-19.pdf
We are encouraging managers in centres with children to print copies in appropriate languages and distribute them to families with children. The full list of translations is available online here.
COVID-19 Time Capsule Resource for children
Toddler and preschool age ideas
In the leaflets below, the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment provides a summary of what your child learns at each class level in school, as well as some general tips and advice as to what you can do to continue this learning at home. However, it is important not to put yourself under too much pressure – home schooling is very challenging at the best of times. We hope you find the links below helpful.www.scoilnet.ie - Official Education portal of the DES, curriculum focused resources to both primary and post primary.
www.schooldays.ie - Primary School resources, information on useful apps, websites, etc.
Twinkl.ie is offering all parents and teachers a One Month FREE Ultimate Membership. This will allow parents and teachers unlimited access to every single resource (printable resources / powerpoints / games) for every single curriculum subject from junior infants to sixth class. Setting this up is really easy to do - go to www.twinkl.ie/offer and enter the code IRLTWINKLHELPS.
www.topmarks.co.uk is a further UK resource.
Please let us know at IPASinbox@justice.ie if there are other topics you would like us to cover in our newsletters. We hope the information provided here has been helpful.
With every good wish from the team at IPAS and the Department of Justice and Equality
Tips to prevent the spread of infection
Wash your hands well and often to avoid contamination and spreading of bacteria
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing and discard the tissue safely
Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands or if you have not used hand sanitizer
Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces that would be used regularly to avoid contamination
The information contained in this update is intended for residents of IPAS accommodation centres, Friends of the Centre Groups and NGO colleagues. Any queries should be directed to IPASinbox@justice.ie