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Hotel quarantine chaos a direct result of shambolic planning - Darren O’Rourke TD

14 April, 2021 - by Darren O Rourke TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Transport Darren O’Rourke TD has said that shambolic planning and half-hearted implementation was the cause of the latest mandatory hotel quarantine chaos.

The Meath East TD said:

“The issue relating to the lack of space in quarantine hotels is quite incredible. It is just the latest in a long line of handmade debacles by this government.

“It is incomprehensible how enough hotel rooms were not secured in advance of the rollout of this important public health measure. This, at a time when there is so much spare capacity in our hotels, and when those same hotels are crying out for work.

“It is almost a year since NPHET recommended mandatory hotel quarantine. Since then, government has dithered and bickered and proceeded with half a heart and, it now appears, even less of a head.

"The current debacle is a direct result of shambolic planning.

“Lumping responsibility for hotel quarantine onto an obviously overwhelmed Minister for Health was also a predictable mistake, one flagged by me and others in advance.

“Mandatory hotel quarantine was brought in as a temporary measure to protect the vaccine rollout and to ensure the hard-earned gains of the last number of months are not lost.

“It is clear given recent Covid spread internationally, and the latest developments on the vaccine front, that mandatory hotel quarantine is an important tool in our defence at this time.

"This point was made by Dr Ronan Glynn at yesterday's meeting of the Oireachtas Health Committee. It is essential that the system works to ensure we take advantage of our opportunity and avoid unexpected problems in the time ahead.

“We are also waiting for government to address our questions in relation to other aspects of the regime, such as the criteria for including/excluding countries, traveller exemptions and the vaccine and testing protocols.

“Mandatory hotel quarantine forms an important part of our current pandemic response. It is imperative the government get control of the situation urgently.”

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