Airport Covid testing welcome but cost could prove prohibitive
- Government should temporarily subvent these tests for the period of December
The commencement of airport Covid testing is welcome but the cost of the tests could be prohibitive according to Labour Transport Spokesperson, Duncan Smith T.D.
Deputy Smith was speaking after the announcement that Dublin airport will get a planning waiver to open Covid-19 testing centre.
Deputy Smith said:
“As Labour Transport Spokesperson and as a T.D that represents an airport constituency, I have been raising this issue for several months and I would like to broadly welcome the imminent commencement of Covid testing at Dublin airport.
“I have concerns in relation to the cost of these Covid tests that will be provided by private operators with tests estimated to cost between €100 and €200 per test. There will be many low paid workers and essential workers abroad coming back, taking advantage of affordable flights to travel home for Christmas who may not for economic reasons be able to afford the price of these tests.
“Many of these people will not have seen their families or been home since this time last year and will succumb to the understandable pressures to return home to see their loved ones. They should not be disadvantaged because of their economic circumstances. I am calling on the Government to temporarily subvent these tests for the period of December. We need compliance and personal responsibility but we also require take up of these tests and cost cannot be a barrier.
“This announcement is a welcome relief to the aviation industry. I have been raising this issue with Ministers, NPHET and representatives of the aviation sector for the last 5 months and I welcome, finally, concrete action from Government and I hope they will consider subsidising the cost of airport testing this Christmas to ensure everyone can access these tests regardless of their economic circumstances.