The current situation of “quarantining” those arriving in Ireland requires some reflection. People, commentators, the tourism industry and newspaper columnists speak with one voice as though there is an official quarantine in place for all arrivals to the country. Not so.
At the moment, according to the Government’s website, “You are asked to self-isolate for 14 days if you arrive in Ireland from any overseas country. This includes Irish citizens coming home”.
Asked, if you don’t mind, not legally obligated. You’re asked not to litter the beaches too, but there are fines if you choose to leave your detritus behind, and rightly so, because without the fear of sanctions, many won’t do what is asked.
If quarantining all new arrivals into the country is really so important in preventing fresh outbreaks of Covid-19, then surely a quarantine should immediately be made a legal obligation with strict sanctions for non-compliance. If not, get rid of it.
The current approach to quarantine of “it’s kind of important so we’d like you to do it, and we’ll talk as though you have to do it, and sure some of you mightn’t do it, but that’ll be grand too” just doesn’t cut it.
It would be disingenuous to treat a matter such as littering in such a way; it’s simply reckless to respond to something so serious as halting the spread of Covid-19 like this.
Conor Mooney (Currently doing what we’re “asked” to do, and on day-11 of self-isolation)
Dr Conor Mooney
6 rue Raffaëlli 75016