August 2, 2020
Testing at airports must be comprehensive – David Cullinane TD

David Cullinane

Responding to a statement from the Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly that the government will introduce random Covid testing at Airports, Sinn Féin spokesperson on David Cullinane said that testing must be comprehensive and put in place urgently.

Speaking today, Teachta Cullinane said: “I welcome this announcement by the Minister for Health that random testing will commence at airports.

“We in Sinn Féin have consistently called for this only to have our proposals rubbished by An Taoiseach Micheál Martin. 

“I welcome this change in direction and it is important that we get clarity on exactly what is being proposed for both those departing and arriving at airports. 

“We also urge maximum all-island alignment on the issue.

“Over the last few months, Sinn Féin has consistently called for checks and restrictions to be put in place at our airports. These included:

  • ECDC and EASA protocols on flights;
  • Mandatory temperature screening and wearing of facemasks in airports;
  • All passengers to download the Covid-19 Contact Tracing App and complete the Passenger Locator Form;
  • Random testing of a percentage of incoming passengers from ‘Green List’ countries.

“In addition, we called for all visitors arriving from high-risk ‘Red List’ areas should be required to pay for their Covid-19 testing and accommodation at designated isolation facilities, and only be permitted to enter the state after the isolation period has passed, or two negative Covid-19 tests have been recorded.

“Such stringent checks on those coming from Covid-19 hot spots will help deter all non-essential travel and reduce the chance of the virus being imported from these areas.

“It is imperative that we have robust checks in place at our ports of entry to try and detect those carrying Covid-19.

“The progress made to date has come at a huge cost and we cannot let this be undone now. We will study the minister’s proposals when we see the detail.”

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