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Clarity on extending international travel restrictions welcome but processes must be tightened – Darren O’Rourke TD

6 July, 2020 - by Darren O Rourke TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Transport Darren O’Rourke TD has welcomed clarity on the extension of international travel restrictions until 20th July, while warning that measures must be tightened to ensure that they are effective. 

Teachta O’Rourke said: “I welcome the fact that the industry now has much needed clarity that restrictions on international travel will be extended until 20th July, however the restrictions require tightening to ensure that they are fully effective. 

“I am concerned that the current regulations on requiring international arrivals to self-isolate for a fortnight are far too lax and too easily circumvented. The process of international arrivals filling in a Passenger Locator Form and then receiving a single phone call is clearly open to misuse by people who may decide not to self-isolate or not engage with authorities. 

“Checks in our ports and airports need to be dramatically ramped up before foreign travel is increased. Temperature screening and rapid testing should be introduced for new arrivals, as is currently in place in other countries. The Government should use the two week period between now and 20th July to begin putting these important measures in place. 

“While many countries are making great strides towards eliminating the virus, in some such as Brazil and the United States, it is clear that the infection rate continues to be out of control. We must consider further limits on arrivals from these Covid-19 hot spots and significant additional checks on passengers travelling from them. 

“The virus knows no borders and it is vital that we approach the pandemic on an all-island basis. Any changes to international travel restrictions must be done in consultation with Stormont, to ensure the strategy can be delivered effectively across the island.”

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