Far stricter protocols for international arrivals needed immediately – Darren O’Rourke TD
Sinn Féin’s spokesperson on Transport, Darren O’Rourke TD, has called on the Government to immediately introduce strict protocols for all international arrivals to help stem the growth of Covid-19 here.
Speaking this evening, the Meath East TD said:
“Since the onset of this pandemic, Sinn Féin have been advocating for testing and proper monitoring of international arrivals, to combat cases of Covid-19 being imported.
“The Government ignored our calls and as a result the Covid-19 checks and controls at our ports and airports remain completely inadequate.
“Foreign travel should be restricted to only those cases that are absolutely essential and for those that do arrive, strict protocols are needed to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
“The requirement of a negative pre-departure test must be extended to arrivals from all countries, not just those from Britain and South Africa as is currently the case.
“Testing post-arrival should also become mandatory, as the current system is simply not working.
“That fact that our self-isolation and quarantine regime is voluntary in effect and entirely unmonitored is equally unacceptable.
“We know Passenger Locator Forms are not being followed up. We need a system that is mandatory and enforced.
“This should include fines for those who flout the self-isolation rules.
“Our geographical advantage of being an island has not been realised, and the Government have shown little interest in pursuing this avenue.
“This is another key mistake in the Government’s response to Covid-19 on this island.
“We are in the eye of the Covid storm. Every day that passes without the introduction of stronger measures in our ports of entry is a day lost.
“We can’t afford for the inaction in this area to continue.”