US Military Banned From Exiting Planes Landing At Shannon

US military personnel passing through Shannon have been instructed not to get off their aircraft after landing at the airport.

Concerns have been expressed in recent weeks that US troops continue to be allowed transit Shannon despite President Donald Trump imposing a travel ban on passengers flying to the US amid Covid-19 fears.

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In recent weeks and days, one civilian airline carrying US military personnel, has made almost daily stops at Shannon travelling to and from the US, the Middle East and European countries including Bulgaria, Poland and The Netherlands.

Kuwait, a staging ground for troops based in the region, has almost 200 confirmed cases but no deaths while in Bulgaria, there have been three fatalities and 220 confirmed cases of the virus.

In Poland nearly 1,000 infections have been confirmed while 13 people have died.

Yesterday, an Omni Air International flight from Eindhoven in the Netherlands, made a refuelling stop in Shannon on its to El Paso in the US state of Texas.

There have already been almost 356 Covid-19 related deaths in the Netherlands while over 6,412 people are confirmed to have the virus.

Local lobby group ShannonWatch has labelled it “outrageous” amid the effective lockdown of Ireland during the coronavirus pandemic.

A spokesman for the US Embassy in Dublin said: “US troops transiting through Shannon Airport have been directed to remain on board the aircraft. Only in circumstances where a maintenance issue requires troops to exit the aircraft will they be allowed to leave the plane and in these circumstances they will not mingle with others passengers in the terminal.”

While several troop carriers still transit Shannon every week, it’s understood there has been a dramatic reduction in US military aircraft traffic using Shannon in the wake of the worldwide Covid-19 outbreak.