News & Media

Enhanced testing at airports welcome but remit should be wider than random

2 August 2020

Statement by Duncan Smith TD
Party Whip and Spokesperson on Climate Action, Communications Networks and Transport.
Duncan Smith

The Governments decision to put in a place an enhanced testing regime and begin random Covid-19 testing at airports has been welcomed by Labour’s Transport Spokesperson Duncan Smith who said that the testing regime should be be broadened to specifically target travellers from high risk countries.

Deputy Smith said:

“With case numbers going up and palpable public nervousness on the rise it is welcome that the Government will introduce random testing at airports.

“However, the testing regime needs to be more comprehensive and the remit needs to be broadened to specifically target travels from high risk ‘Red List’ countries. Labour have consistently called for the Government to introduce mandatory Covid-19 testing at airports and an enforced mandatory 14 day quarantine for air travellers coming from high risk areas.

“I’m glad that the Government have belatedly come around to the need for a more stringent testing regime for travellers arriving in Ireland. However, we need more clarity as to what exactly they are proposing and how this enhanced random testing system will operate. The Government also need to go further by specifically targeting testing travellers from high risk countries and reinforcing with an enforced 14 quarantine period.

“A robust testing regime at our ports and airports is essential to minimise the risk of the virus being imported by travellers. With case numbers having risen in the last week and public nervousness on the rise, these measures will give confidence about resuming air travel.

“We have made significant progress as a country and people have made huge sacrifices in suppressing the spread of Covid-19, it’s important that our hard work isn’t undone.