February 3, 2021
Government plan for international arrivals inadequate and unimplementable – Darren O’Rourke TD

Darren O RourkeSinn Féin spokesperson on Transport Darren O’Rourke TD today responded to the government’s shambolic introduction of restrictions for international arrivals.

The Meath East TD said:

“The comments from the Minister for Health relating to self-isolation and quarantining at home epitomise the state of confusion and disarray at the heart of government.

“Those comments were added to, today, by the Taoiseach, the Tánaiste and the Minister for Foreign Affairs and they serve as proof-positive that the government’s plans are inadequate and unimplementable. They must change course now.

“We need a system of hotel quarantine for all non-essential arrivals introduced immediately until such a time as our infection levels drop, our health system is not a risk of being overwhelmed, and the vaccine rollout is more advanced.

“When the government presented their half-thought-out plan for international arrivals two weeks ago, we said it was not enough and it wouldn’t work.

“This wasn’t a prophecy, it was common sense. The dogs in the street could see their half-baked measures were destined to fail and didn’t recognise the seriousness of the situation.

“The government refused to listen to the public health advice or to the opposition who called for mandatory hotel quarantine for all non-essential arrivals and for mandatory post-arrival testing.

“Despite having almost a year to prepare a plan for international arrivals, it seems nothing was done during this time.

“The government are now scrambling to cobble something together. Meanwhile, people arriving at our ports and airports are sent on their merry way and asked nicely to quarantine at home.

“I can’t understand the reluctance to put proper measures in place. The Taoiseach today said there were legal issues to be considered.

“It seems preventing people taking discretionary holidays is harder than locking the entire population in their homes for months on end or closing down the economy for a year.

“Their arguments against mandatory quarantine simply do not stack up.”

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