The leader of Sinn Féin has said the Government needs to introduce mandatory quarantine for all travellers arriving into Ireland.
Mary Lou McDonald described proposals to quarantine those who arrive without a negative Covid-19 test as “absolutely insufficient”.
The Government Covid-19 sub-committee will meet today to discuss the current public health restrictions.
On Tuesday, the Government is to make a decision on whether to extend the health measures in place since last month. Cabinet will also consider the issue of mandatory quarantine for some arrivals, particularly for those who arrive without a negative test.
However, Ms McDonald said these measures do not go far enough.
We need a mandatory enforced quarantine
“If they don’t have a pre-arrival negative test they should be sent back to from whence they came,” she told RTÉ Morning Ireland.
“Secondly, we need a second mandatory test after five days of being on the island and we need a mandatory enforced quarantine.
“It seems that the Government is proposing simply to quarantine those that arrive without a negative test – that is absolutely insufficient.
“I’m very surprised at this stage that they don’t realise – certainly Nphet and the public health experts realise – we have to grasp this nettle now, and it needs to be very, very clear that only essential travel onto the island, and then a mandatory form of quarantine.”
Ms McDonald said that a mandatory quarantine of 14 days will act as an “effective push back” on travel.
“I think now at this juncture it is absolutely proportionate to ensure that those coming onto the island are tested pre-arrival, tested post-arrival, and that the quarantine isn’t laissez faire, or a matter of just a hit and miss which, let’s be honest, has been the case up to now, that now needs to stop,” she added.
“We need very firm and very secure arrangements. I would be urging the Government to move away from any kind of minimalist notion that quarantine is only for those who arrive without their negative test, it needs to be much more comprehensive than that.
“Of course, it goes without saying, that for this to work it has to be island-wide so that poses now a real challenge for the Government in Dublin to now, very belatedly, use its influence to ensure that the same stringent measures are in place for those arriving in Belfast, or any point of entry, north of the border onto our island.”
The Government is still advising against all non-essential overseas travel.
All passengers arriving into Ireland are required to produce a negative PCR test within 72 hours of arrival.
Passengers are being asked to give evidence of their negative test before boarding a plane or ferry.
Gardaí install checkpoints on non-essential airpor…
Meanwhile, Labour leader Alan Kelly said gardaí should police the border to prevent non-essential travel.
He also backed the idea of introducing mandatory quarantine for all arrivals.
Mr Kelly said that garda checks should be set up on arterial routes within five kilometres of the border.
Iran’s Health Ministry Spokesperson Sima Lari made the announcement on Monday, saying that the number of total coronavirus cases in the country has so far reached 1,379,286 with the death toll standing at 57,481.
According to Lari, 4,057 patients are in critical condition while 1,171,070 patients have recovered.
So far, 8,960,186 tests have been taken across the country to detect infected cases, she added.
According to the latest figures, more than 99,829,777 people have so far been infected with the novel coronavirus globally, with the deaths standing at 2,140,306 and recoveries amounting to 71,829,071.
Nakuru County Government can breath a sigh of relief after a court suspended orders barring them from collecting revenue from matatu operating service.
Justice Teresia Matheka of the Nakuru High Court suspended the orders on grounds that the case was pending judgement in another court.
“It has come to my attention, through communication by the deputy registrar, that there is a similar matter before Justice Joel Ngugi pending judgment.
“This fact was not disclosed to me, otherwise I would not have issued the orders,” Matheka ruled.
An empty court room.
The county government risked losing an annual revenue of Ksh206 million had the orders not been revoked.
Reports indicate that 8,600 PSVs each pay Ksh2,000 monthly to the Nakuru County Government.
Initially, Judge Matheka had suspended the collection of revenue from Public Service Vehicles (PSVs) following a suit filed by Central Rift PSV Transporters Cooperative Society Limited on December 15, 2020.
“Pending the hearing and determination of the application inter parte hearing, a conservatory order is hereby issued barring the respondent, its agents or person acting under its authority from demanding from the petitioners’ fees for seasonal tickets,” Matheka ruled on Friday, January 15.
Through their lawyer David Mongeri, the matatu sector sought to bar the revenue collection after they were relocated out of the town’s Central Business District (CBD).
They cited that the relocation to privately owned premises resulted in loss of earnings yet the County Government still demanded the monthly fees..
According to court documents, the matatu operators still operated in unsafe and unhygienic environments that lack proper sanitation despite the monthly revenue collection.
Matatus caught up ina traffic snarl-up at Tom Mboya street near Khoja/Old Mutual terminus