July 13, 2020
Reckless to permit international arrivals without Covid-19 checks – Darren O’Rourke TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Transport Darren O’Rourke TD has said it is reckless to allow international visitors arrive into the State from Covid-19 hotspots without any proper checks or restrictions.

Teachta O’Rourke said:

“Covid-19 remains out of control in the United States and it is reckless to allow tourists from the US arrive into Ireland with no Covid-19 checks or restrictions.

“People here have given up their foreign holidays abroad this year – some at a huge financial loss – and so are rightly angered at seeing tourists now arriving into Ireland unrestricted.

“The government is naive in the extreme if they believe all tourists are going to self-isolate here for 14 days during their holidays.

“While some countries have gone to extraordinary measures to prevent Covid-19 arriving through their ports and airports, the sum total of the efforts here has been to hand out a piece of paper and make a phone call. Neither of which can actually confirm whether people are abiding by the rules.

“This is ridiculously lax given the risks involved.

“We have repeatedly called for better checks and controls to be put in place, such as mandatory face coverings in airports, temperature screening, testing from high risk areas and designated isolation facilities.

“While the government now plan to announce a green list of countries to permit foreign travel to and from, we believe a red list should also be published, which would see arrivals from high risk areas face more stringent restrictions and checks before entry into the State is permitted.

“We need a graduated response to foreign travel going forward, based on specific Covid-19 country profiles.

“If visitors from high-risk countries then wish to fly in, they should be required to pay for their Covid-19 testing and isolate in a designated quarantine facility until they are determined to be Covid free.

“The progress made to date has come at a huge cost, and we cannot let this be undone now. The government need to address these issues urgently.”

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