Monday, August 03, 2020

Passengers flying into Ireland West Airport Knock are to be randomly tested for Covid-19.

That’s after the Government announced it is to introduce Covid-19 testing at Irish airports.

Health Minister Stephen Donnelly said the measure is being brought in due to the rise in cases in other countries.

“We’re introducing random testing at the airports and an increased public health presence and we’re examining other options as well for further restrictions on non-essential travel.”

The minister added that “the international situation is becoming more volatile.”

The decision to commence random Covid-19 testing at airports is understood to have been approved at Cabinet earlier this month.

Minister of State for international and road transport and logistics, Galway’s Hildegarde Naughton added that the Government will also be changing the passenger locator form process for people arriving in the state.

The form is currently paper-based form and will move to an electronic model following the establishment of a call centre, through the DAA.

“In relation to following up on passengers who are coming into the country, we’re also looking at the potential for pre-flight testing and testing for passengers on arrival,” she said.

Ms Naughton said it was “very important to ensure that we have a balance between public health”.

“Also ensuring that we have a viable economy and part of that is ensuring that we have this connectivity, and it’s very important to say that yes, Ireland is are having a cautious approach in relation to international travel, but it’s important to understand that the biggest economic risk to Ireland is having a major second wave or a lockdown.

“In order to avoid that we need to ensure that we are adhering to public health advice and also rolling out protocols at our airports.”

Ms Naughton also said that the government was “acutely aware” of the issues facing the aviation industry.

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