Sinn Féin Dublin South West TD Seán Crowe has called for better enforcement of self-isolation requirements for people entering the country and described the current travel restrictions as “farcical”.
Teachta Crowe said:
“Public health advice is clear in stating that people arriving into Ireland should self-isolate for two weeks.
“This policy is based on scientific evidence and is necessary to reduce the risk of people passing on the virus.
“When people arrive at our airports and seaports, they are asked to fill in forms to specify where they will be staying during their 14 day self-isolation period and are told that they will be contacted at that address to see that they are observing all regulations.
“This isn’t happening in any structured way and makes a mockery of the restrictions.
“The latest figures suggest that these regulations are not being observed in practice and around a third of people don’t even fill in or complete the necessary paperwork.
“This failure to enforce even these basic restrictions is putting all our health in danger and making our personal sacrifices meaningless.
“Have we learnt nothing from the craziness of the Cheltenham fiasco when untold numbers of people returned and helped spread the COVID19 virus?
“The regulations are there for good reason and are part of our plans to halt the spread of Covid-19. Given the seriousness of this pandemic, it is clear that the government need to get their act together to ensure that regulations are being enforced.
“There is also a 5km travel restriction on the rest of us but you can travel to Kerry tomorrow by plane with no restrictions and no sanction. This is farcical and doesn’t make any sense.
“Across Ireland, people are making huge personal sacrifices in their daily lives to stop the spread of Covid-19. Thankfully, we are finally seeing some signs that this is working.
“We cannot allow a lack of oversight in airports and seaports risk undermining the huge efforts being made by all of us.
“I am calling on Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan to adopt a new approach to ensure that strict enforcement of these restrictions begins in earnest and without delay.
“We have suffered enough of this farcical approach that is endangering and threatening a second wave of this virus.”