News & Media

Changes to green list do not address travel concerns

4 August 2020

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

The Government still hasn't adequately addressed concerns with foreign travel according to Labour Transport Spokesperson Duncan Smith who was speaking after the Government removed five countries from the green list following a resurgence of Covid-19 cases in those countries.

Deputy Smith said:

“The changes announced today amount to little more than window dressing and do not address the real concerns about the number of people travelling from so-called ‘red list’ countries.

“We still do not have a system of mandatory airport testing for visitors arriving from Covid-19 hotspots and there is no enforced quarantine for travellers arriving from those countries even though the vast majority of travellers arriving here are coming from countries that are not on the green list.

“I have repeatedly called for a system of mandatory testing at airports specifically targeting visitors arriving from high risk countries. The current rules are unworkable and unenforceable. While I welcome any move to increase testing the announcement on Sunday by Minister Donnelly that random testing will begin at airports does not go far enough.

“There has also been no attempt to put in place an adequate follow-up system on those who are meant to be undertaking a 14-day mandatory quarantine. Phone calls are not enough and there must be in person follow up to ensure the rules are followed.

“The current system of testing and tracing incoming travellers is completely inadequate and the Government has not addressed that by removing five countries from the green list. A robust system of mandatory testing at our ports and airport is needed to specifically target travellers coming from high risk countries of which there was no mention in today’s announcement.