Sinn Féin spokesperson on Transport, Darren O’Rourke TD, this evening welcomed the news that a new testing requirement for all international arrivals is to be introduced.
Teachta O’Rourke said:
“It’s genuinely unbelievable that as we grapple with the worst Covid-19 infection rate in the world, you can still arrive into the state from all but two countries with no checks for Covid-19.
“Sinn Féin have been very critical of the hands-off approach the Government have taken in this area since the outset of this pandemic and we have consistently called for strict checks and restrictions at our ports of entry to help prevent more cases being imported.
“Sinn Féin called for the extension of the pre-departure testing requirement to all international arrivals, not just those from Britain and South Africa, so I welcome the fact that the Government now agrees with us on the urgent need for this.
“There should be no more delay, this requirement needs to be urgently introduced.
“The Government’s actions are extremely late in the day, but nevertheless it’s an improvement on their laissez-faire approach to date.
“At the moment foreign travel should be restricted to only those cases that are absolutely essential.
“We also believe testing post-arrival should be made mandatory, as the current voluntary system is not working.
“The Government must also improve the follow up checks on the Passenger Locator Forms, to ensure those that do arrive here are strictly abiding by the self-isolation requirements.
“We need a system that is mandatory and enforced.
“Our geographical advantage of being an island has still not been realised, and the Government have shown little interest in pursuing this avenue.
“This is a key failure in the Government’s response to Covid-19.
“Any new measures introduced here will be immediately weakened without a co-ordinated, all-Ireland approach.”