Government making 'a laughing stock' of people with decision not to impose travel quarantine - McGrath

Government making 'a laughing stock' of people with decision not to impose travel quarantine - McGrath

The Group's leader, Mattie McGrath, says it makes a "laughing stock" of the Irish public.

The Rural Independent Group has criticised the Government for its "juvenile" excuses for not imposing mandatory travel quarantine.

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said on Thursday that a system of mandatory quarantine for incoming air and sea passengers would be “disproportionate” and “unworkable.” 

The group says 33,000 foreign travellers arrive into the country every week, which will "inevitably" carry more Covid-19 cases into Ireland.

The Group's leader, Mattie McGrath, says it makes a "laughing stock" of the Irish public.

He said: "We saw the tens of thousands of people who came here for Christmas, we saw up to 20,000 people who came since... and this is making a laughing stock of the people who are making huge sacrifices to try and comply with the regulations.

"It's time the Government got serious and got real and had proper meaningful checks and tests."

Meanwhile, the European Union is considering tougher travel restrictions to prevent the spread of Covid-19 variants across the bloc.

Speaking on Thursday night, Commission President Ursula Von Der Leyen said they are proposing a "dark red" zone within the bloc's traffic light travel system. Picture: Olivier Hoslet, Pool Photo via AP

Speaking on Thursday night, Commission President Ursula Von Der Leyen said they are proposing a "dark red" zone within the bloc's traffic light travel system. Picture: Olivier Hoslet, Pool Photo via AP

The Commission 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% of all swabs - currently, Ireland is checking around 1%.

Speaking on Thursday night, Commission President Ursula Von Der Leyen said they are proposing a "dark red" zone within the bloc's traffic light travel system.

"Persons travelling from dark red areas could be required to do a test before departure, as well as undergo quarantine after arrival, this is within the European Union," Ms Von Der Leyen said.

"In view of the very serious health situation, all non-essential travel should be strongly discouraged, both within the country and across borders."

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