Airport testing capacity issues a direct result of Government dithering

Duncan Smith TD
12 November 2020
  • Transport Minister must immediately address this

Airport testing capacity issues are a direct result of Government dithering and delaying according to Labour Transport Spokesperson Duncan Smith who said that Transport Minister Eamon Ryan must immediately address the issue.

Deputy Smith was speaking after the Dáil was told that there is no guarantee that there will be enough testing capacity at airports for everyone who wants a test to be able to obtain one.

Deputy Smith said:

“This is a direct result of the lack of action from Government on airport testing and the hands-off approach adopted in relation to the aviation sector. I have been calling for a system of testing to be established at our airports for the last 5 months. Airport testing has been taking place across Europe for many months now and Ireland is an outlier.

“This was a key recommendation of the aviation taskforce when they published their recommendations in July and the Government dithered and delayed until November to allow airport testing to take place.

“The DAA are on the record saying they have the teams and capacity in place to implement testing and were ready to go ahead with the practice and were left waiting months for the go-ahead from Government.

“If the Government had moved earlier on airport testing then these capacity issues could have been dealt with before the crucial Christmas travel period. While we expect fewer people to arrive home this December than previous years, the projected testing capacity at our airports will be insufficient to cope with even this reduced level of demand.

“I am calling on the Transport Minister to constructively engage with the service providers to ensure that testing capacity is ramped up cope with demand. Anyone who travels home for Christmas to visit their loved ones and needs a Covid test must be able to obtain one and they must be affordable.

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