August 9, 2020
Government must answer fundamental questions over travel ‘red list’ – Darren O’Rourke TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Transport Darren O’Rourke TD has called on the Government to clarify whether it is intends to introduce a ‘red list’ for international travel, instead of fuelling speculation and uncertainty. 

Speaking in response to media reports that the Government is set to ban all non-essential travel from ‘red listed’ countries with high Covid-19 rates, Teachta O’Rourke said:

“Sinn Féin has long-advocated the introduction of a ‘red list’ in conjunction with the ‘green list’. 

“However, when it comes to this Government’s handling of foreign travel, we are yet again left dealing with speculation where we instead need clarity. 

“For months now, the Government’s policy on international travel has been confusing and chaotic. 

“The prospect of a travel ban has significant implications for would-be travellers and for business, not least in the aviation sector itself. The Minister should outline his position clearly and in specific detail. 

“We need answers to key questions- How exactly will this new system work? Who exactly will be affected? Will essential travel still be permitted, for example, without any additional Covid checks and controls? 

“NPHET has advocated mandatory quarantine not flight bans. If the Minister is of a different opinion, he should outline why. 

“Red list or no, it is essential that we have robust test-trace-isolate processes in place that are reflective of Covid-19 risk and profile. 

“This principle is fundamental to our ability to live with Covid-19 and should apply across the board, not just at our ports and airports but in all work, congregated and other settings. It remains a critical weakness in our defence and must be addressed immediately.” 

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