Why did it take the Government 311 Days of Covid to Mandatory Test at Airports? - Tóibín
Aontú leader and Meath West TD Peadar Tóibín has accused the government of dragging its feet on mandatory testing at ports and airports. He stated;
“It has been 311 days since the first covid case, 2,282 people have died with Covid, there has been tens billions of euro of economic devastation and only now has the government decided to introduce Mandatory Testing at airports and ports. This is absolutely outrageous”.
“At the start when Covid flared in northern Italy at a meeting of party leaders I asked the then Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to stop flights from there. He said no and hundreds of people from one of the worst effected areas in the world came to Ireland. I asked Leo why he would not stop or test these fights. He said in that meeting that this was not the advice of the ECDC. I asked Leo what was their rationale for this advice and Leo said that he didn't know. I found it startling at the time that the leader of a country would implement such life and death advice from an external organisation without even knowing the rationale for their decision”.
Again we ask Varadkar to test people coming from Cheltenham. He refused. When we broke the story of hundreds of agricultural workers coming to Ireland from Europe, we asked Varadkar to test these workers or stop the practice temporarily. He refused. As late as November I asked Éamon Ryan to institute mandatory testing at our airports in advance of Christmas. It did not happen and over 30,000 people returned from Variant stricken Britain alone.
Finally the government have announced 311 days too late that they will commence mandatory testing. They have serious questions to answer as to why it took so long.