July 17, 2020
Comprehensive airport testing regime must accompany travel ‘Green List’ – Darren O’Rourke TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Transport Darren O’Rourke TD has said that checks in airports and seaports need to be dramatically scaled up to meet the expected rise in international travel as a result of the imminent publication of the government’s travel ‘Green List’.

Teachta O’Rourke said;

“The current restrictions on people arriving to our shores are completely inadequate.

“The government have put no checks and restrictions in place to deter all non-essential travel and to try and detect passengers arriving at our airports and seaports who may have Covid-19.

“The Passenger Locator Form and possible follow up phone call currently in place are not good enough considering the huge risks. Neither prove if people are currently abiding by the fourteen day quarantine requirement.

“We believe there should be a graduated response to the re-opening of foreign travel at an appropriate time – subject to public health advice. It is essential that a comprehensive testing and tracing regime accompanies this. 

“In addition to a ‘Green List’, we believe there should be a ‘Red List’ published to specify countries with high levels of Covid-19 where all travel to and from would incur significant additional checks upon arrival back into Ireland.

“We have repeatedly called for proper checks and restrictions to be put in place at our airports. These should include;

  • ECDC and EASA protocols on flights;
  • Mandatory temperature screening and wearing of facemasks in airports;
  • All passengers must download the Covid-19 Contact Tracing App and complete the Passenger Locator Form;
  • Random testing of a percentage of incoming passengers from ‘Green List’ countries.

“In addition, all visitors arriving from high-risk ‘Red List’ areas should be required to pay for their Covid-19 testing and accommodation at designated isolation facilities, and only be permitted to enter the State after the isolation period has passed, or two negative Covid-19 tests have been recorded.

“Such stringent checks on those coming from Covid-19 hot spots will help deter all non-essential travel and reduce the chance of the virus being imported from these areas.

“The publishing of the ‘Green List’ will inevitably see a rise in international travel. It is imperative that we have robust checks in place at our ports of entry to try and detect those carrying Covid-19. 

“The progress made to date has come at a huge cost and we cannot let this be undone now.”

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