Sinn Féin TD for Kerry Pa Daly TD has called for greater controls over arrivals into Ireland to ensure the hard work everyone has contributed to since March is not undone in a matter of days or weeks.
Teachta Daly said:
“The government has failed to put adequate controls in place to ensure that people arriving into Ireland follow an effective quarantine process.
“Covid-19 is out of control in certain countries, such as the United States, and yet I am being told of tourists and business visitors, as well as Irish people returning home to visit family, being able to move freely without self-isolating for the required fourteen days.
“People in Kerry are extremely upset that our huge efforts to contain the virus will be in vain due to weak government controls.
“Local tour operators have had to cancel bookings at the last minute because they became aware customers had not quarantined. This places even more uncertainty on tour operators who are already struggling. I commend them for taking a stand.
“Many visitors believe that quarantine is optional and need not be taken seriously. I am calling on government to provide clarity without further delay. We cannot consider relaxing through “air bridges” or other means, until we have absolute certainty over quarantine obligations and enforcement of these.
“All visitors should be crystal clear, from the moment they book their ticket, that they will need to adhere to strict protocols and that they will be required to check-in with authorities. We should go further by insisting on temperature checks and rapid Covid-19 testing from high-risk areas.
“I was particularly disappointed to learn that a visitor arriving from overseas was apparently unable to avail of the Covid-19 tracker as they are not an Irish resident, and do not hold an Irish credit card on the app store. This has the potential to be part of the solution for visitors to the island and I hope it is amended.
“The extent to which we appear willing to allow visitors to roam the island unchecked is going to cost us heavily I fear.”