Sinn Féin spokesperson on Transport Darren O’Rourke TD has said that the government’s botched handling of foreign travel advice sends confusing and contradictory mixed messages to the public.
“This chaotic handling of foreign travel isn’t new. In fact, it has been a hallmark of the government’s approach to date.
“Back in March we had unrestricted flights arriving from Italy, while that country was the global epicentre of the pandemic.
“No lessons were learnt and now we have flights arriving from the new epicentre, the United States, without any checks or restrictions in our airports.
“It is extraordinary to think that in the middle of a deadly global pandemic, the sum total of the restrictions coming into the State is to fill in a form and ask people nicely to self-isolate.
“The publication of any green list will lead to an increase in international travel, which public health experts have stressed brings with it considerable risks.
“Comprehensive checks and restrictions in our airports need to be introduced in tandem with any opening up of international travel.
“Mandatory temperature screening, the wearing of face masks in airports, random Covid-19 testing of arrivals and a requirement to download the Covid-19 contact tracing app need to be introduced, in addition to the current Passenger Locator Form.
“Even stricter controls need to be introduced for arrivals from high-risk areas.
“It is reckless to proceed ahead without adequate monitoring in our airports that can help detect and quarantine those with Covid-19.
“It is clear there is even internal dissent in the government ranks on this plan for a green list, with the former Taoiseach casting doubt over the proposals earlier today.
“This issue is far too serious for such a blasé approach. The government need to bring forward a comprehensive plan, not a half-baked, ill thought out proposal.”