CEO of the Irish Travel Agents Association (ITAA) Pat Dawson has welcomed the news that travellers into Ireland will be required to produce a negative Covid-19 test.
All travellers coming into the State will have to provide a negative PCR test from the previous 72 hours under new plans agreed by the Cabinet sub-committee on Covid-19 on Tuesday evening.
The new restrictions are set to be agreed by Cabinet, along with new restrictions in relation to construction and retail, which could see only essential construction projects and refurbishments permitted until the end of January and no click and collect services permitted with retail operating on a delivery-only basis.
Mr Dawson said that all stops have to be pulled out in order to control the virus during this “critical stage”.
He said, however, that the incidence of the virus being brought into the country through airports is “very low” but that the decision is necessary during the current Level 5 lockdown in order to get the virus under control again.
Other countries now have come out in the last few days, because our numbers are very bad, saying that Irish people entering their country would have to have a negative PCR test 72 hours before hand so it's not a bit surprising.
Mr Dawson said that Irish citizens are seen to be “as dangerous as people coming from other States” after rapidly rising numbers of cases saw the country “going from being the best in class to nearly the worst in class in Europe”.
He said that he believes this is “the last lockdown we’re going to have to put up with” and that we have “only one more chance to save the citizens and save the economy”.
"I expect this Level 5 lockdown to continue into February and maybe into March because we’ve only one more chance to save the citizens and save the economy and I don't think we have any choice, whatever stops have to be done, have to be done.
“I think we have one last shot and whatever the medical experts and the Government agree on needs to be done,” he said.