Irish Examiner view: Safety comes first when it comes to lifting travel restrictions

Irish Examiner view: Safety comes first when it comes to lifting travel restrictions

The chief executive of Ryanair DAC, Eddie Wilson, has criticised the Government for “fudging around” with plans for air bridges between Ireland and other countries.

At the same time, a state-appointed task force has called for the two-week quarantine rule to be dropped completely.

Mr Wilson has a point, but his insistence that we should simply follow what other EU states are doing should be viewed with caution.

Kingston Mills, professor of experimental immunology in Trinity College Dublin, disagrees with the task force, warning that lifting all travel restrictions could risk reimporting the virus.

He also has a point, one likely to be considered by the National Public Health Emergency Team, which is due to assess the task force’s recommendations at a meeting today.

In its recommendations, the task force noted that “implementation of efficient test-and-trace regimes can provide effective alternatives to the current, 14-day quarantine measure”.

Until such a regime is assured nationally, safety must remain the prime and overriding consideration.

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