Clare’s Fianna Fáil Senator insists that mandatory quarantine for travellers into Ireland isn’t as practical as it sounds.
It comes as the European Union has said non-essential domestic and international travel should be “strongly discouraged” and is proposing a more co-ordinated approach to travel restrictions across the bloc.
The European Union is considering tougher travel restrictions to prevent the spread of newer Covid-19 variants.
It’s said restrictions around travel across the EU should be co-ordinated, and allow for essential workers to cross borders freely.
It also wants more testing and sequencing for variants, saying there should be a check on 5 percent of all swabs – currently Ireland is checking around one percent.
NPHET has previously recommended that mandatory quarantine be introduced for international travellers and Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn says their advice to government is unchanged.
But the Border with Northern Ireland has been highlighted by Government as the main reason this can’t happen.
Clare’s Fianna Fáil Senator admit that while this shouldn’t be seen as a reason to not impose mandatory quarantine, it does pose difficulties.
Senator Timmy Dooley says if it were to be introduced, there would be nothing to stop people from travelling through Northern Ireland instead, to avoid quarantine.
The Rural Independents Group has accused the Government of ‘juvenile excuses’, saying that the lack of a quarantine system is ‘beyond incompetence’ when people within the country can be fined for travelling more than 5 kilometres for their home.
The Group’s Leader Deputy Mattie McGrath says it’s the best way to deal with foreign travel.