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Shambolic handling of quarantine bill sees rush to dodge new requirement - Darren O’Rourke TD

3 March, 2021 - by Darren O Rourke TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Transport Darren O’Rourke TD this evening commented on figures which shows the number of people arriving into Dublin airport is increasing, while the top excuse given for travelling is to take a holiday.

The Meath East TD said:

“The figures released tonight to Virgin Media from the Department of Justice show arrivals into Dublin airport are up 10% over the last week, with a holiday remarkably given as the top excuse for travel.

“People are rightly fed up of staying at home doing all they can to supress Covid-19 and seeing thousands of people still travelling in and out of the state for holidays.

“Everyone wants a holiday, but the vast majority of people have foregone their plans to assist in the national effort to supress Covid-19.

“It’s deeply frustrating for people to see others flout the rules against all but essential international travel, while they are confined to their homes.

“In my opinion this increase in arrivals could be as a result of the government’s botched handling of the mandatory hotel quarantine bill, as people rush home early to dodge the requirement before it comes into effect.

“The Bill has passed through the Dáil and Seanad, but we still have no date when it will be in place. It’s ridiculous.

“This is completely counterproductive, as it’s resulting in an increase of arrivals, with no new checks, when the state can least afford more new infections or the arrival of new coronavirus variants.

“NPHET has said the pre-departure test can miss 40% of cases, so the fact that the government have not introduced a mandatory post arrival test is simply unbelievable.

“When the government announced a half-baked mandatory hotel quarantine system, but made no preparation for it and didn’t introduce it immediately, this is the result.

“The government need to abandon their failed approach and introduce mandatory hotel quarantine for all non-essential arrivals during this period.”

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