Covid-19 Community Support Response Page


A Covid-19 Community Response Forum has been established in County Laois and is co-ordinated by Laois County Council. With representation from multiple statutory and voluntary agencies, the core aim of the Forum is to contribute to the community-wide effort to limit the spread of COVID-19. Laois County Council, through this Forum, will ensure that the wide variety of groups working across the county to assist those in need, will do so in an organised, collaborative and targeted way.


Laois COVID-19 Community Response Helpline is available  9AM – 5PM, Monday to Saturday. 

The confidential free helpline service is available now at

This helpline is to assist at risk members of the community in accessing non-emergency, non-medical supports and advice during the present public health emergency. The helpline is focused first and foremost on ensuring that vulnerable members of the community or those living alone can access deliveries of groceries, medicine and fuels.


Translations of the Community Call leaflet are available here


Do you want to Volunteer in Laois? See Volunteer Laois at this link


An Post operate a “Request a Check in for older and vulnerable customers” through the following link:

HSE “Help is at Hand” has been developed with the aim of collating all the main relevant supports and services that may be required and/or helpful to people during the current circumstances.  It is very informative and endeavours to cover all demographics and age cohorts,:


Laois Community Response Interactive Map

To view the volunteer groups active in your area please click on the below link. This interactive map is provided by Laois Public Participation Network (PPN) in response to COVID-19.


COVID-19 Emergency Fund

The COVID-19 Emergency Fund is a grant programme to provide funding to groups that are directly involved in the Community Call response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is funded by the Department of Rural and Community Development and administered by the Local Authority (LA) in each area.

The Department provides funding to each LA area and the LAs then administer this funding locally to ensure funding is targeted appropriately.

The grants are for expenditure related to the COVID-19 response work.

Laois Co Co Covid -19 Emergency Fund Guidelines 2020

Laois Co Co Covid-19 Emergency Fund T&Cs


Age Action – Getting Started Kit

Age Actions’ Getting Started KIT supports older people to keep in touch with their loved ones during the Covid-19 pandemic. We all are feeling the effects of social distancing, and older people are particularly impacted being asked to cocoon at home. Now it is more important than ever to keep in touch with family and friends so Age Action drew on our Getting Started programme which offered face to face digital skills classes, to create easy How To Guides.

The Getting Started KIT is made up of How To guides that will support older people to learn, use, and be confident using smartphones and applications.

The Age Action Getting Started KIT materials are available to download below or people can call 01 8730372 leave their name and address and Age Action will post the How to Guides within 10 days.

Age Action – How to use Zoom on your smartphone and laptop

Age Action – How to use WhatsApp to make video calls on your smartphon

Age Action – How to use FaceTime on your smart device

Age Action – How to set up e-mail account on your smartphone

Age Action – How to download Apps to your smartphone

Age Action – How to avoid false information about COVID19




The Minister has signed a Commencement Order commencing Section 9 of the recently enacted Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (Covid 19) Act 2020.   This section inserts a new provision (Section 251A) into the Planning and Development Act, 2000 as amended (the Act).

This has the effect that the period from 29th March 2020 to the 20 April 2020, inclusive, may be disregarded when calculating any appropriate period, specified period, or other timelines in

  • the Planning and Development Act 2000, as amended,
  • the Derelicts Sites Act, 1990,
  • Part 2 of the Urban Regenerations and Housing Act, 2015 (which relates to the vacant site levy),
  • Chapter 1 of Part 2 of the Planning and Development (Housing) and Residential Tenancies Act, 2016 (which relates the Strategic Housing Developments)


The effect of the activation of this provision does not freeze the planning system, rather it extends the timelines within which decisions can be made.

The Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government has published a guidance titled “FAQ – Order made under Section 251A of the Planning and Development, Act 2000, as amended, on 29 March 2020, which can be viewed on


The Minister has also made Regulations that, for the period of the emergency, a change in use from a premises selling food for consumption on the premises to one providing food for consumption off the premises will be considered an exempt development and provides for the non-application of the Planning and Development Act 2000 to certain classes of development by or on behalf of a State Authority.

In line with the advice of the Minister contained in Guidelines for Planning Authorities on the Enforcement of certain planning conditions during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak,  issued under Section 28 of the Planning and Development Act 2000, as amended, the Planning Authority will use its discretion in relation to the enforcement of certain planning conditions relating to operational restrictions, e.g. where essential retail and childcare operators, in an effort to ensure that food and other supplies and critical services can be delivered in a safe and timely manner, may be subject to planning conditions that restrict delivery times and/or opening hours.

The Planning Authority is seeking to ensure that every effort is being made to make certain that the planning system continues to operate effectively as possible, in the context of the most up-to-date public health advice during this COVID-19 Emergency. In this regard the following is highlighted:

  • The planning counter is closed, however, applicants can submit applications by post and make contact by telephone on 057 8664032 or email at
  • Planning applications will be validated following receipt, which will include uploading onto the publicly accessible planning area on
  • Decisions on files lodged up to and including the 21/02/2020 will be issued where possible.
  • Decisions on files received after the 21/02/2020, cannot be issued, having regard to the extended timelines provided for under S251A, to ensure that public participation in the planning process is maintained. Where further information responses are received, the Planning Authority may issue a Decision where possible, unless the response is deemed “significant”, as same cannot be processed having regard to the provisions of S251A.
  • The Planning Authority will continue to facilitate pre-planning requests and deal with other necessary communications via email and phone.


Please note that where the An Bord Pleanala Appeal process has not expired on all Planning applications that have been granted, this appeal period will resume once the COVID emergency is over







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         In This Together

For tips and advice on how you can look after your mental well being, stay active and stay connected, follow the link





Covid 19 World Service is a joint initiative of Nasc and Together Ireland. Over 20 doctors, and other healthcare professionals, from around the world, but living and working in Ireland, have voiced the video messages for this new Covid-19 World Service Initiative aimed at providing up-to-date and accurate public health information to migrants living in Ireland

Click for video at