Holohan warns of international travel that is not secured by data...

Holohan warns of international travel that is not secured by data...
Holohan warns of international travel that is not secured by data...
The DAA insists that the Chief Medical Officer’s warning of international travel is not supported by HSE’s own data.

Dr. Tony Holohan said last night that the risks associated with non-essential travel outside the country were “just too high at this point.”

He said health officials had not yet shown any special consideration to family members who were hoping to return home for Christmas.

In the Oireachtas Transport Committee, DAA, Ryanair and Aer Lingus this morning called on the government to fully implement the EU traffic light system without delay.

They also called for a rapid coronavirus test system to be approved for use in Irish airports.

DAA Managing Director Dalton Philips speaks at the DAA Annual Results 2018, 30-04-2019. Image: Sasko Lazarov / RollingNews

On The hard shoulder Tonight, DAA chief Dalton Philips said only a tiny fraction of COVID-19 cases in Ireland were linked to international travel.

“There is obviously a balance between the country’s health needs and economic needs, but if you look at all of the positive COVID cases attributed to overseas travel, it’s less than 2%, and if you look at the past few weeks, it was it is less than 0.5% of all cases, ”he said.

“So there are a handful of people, and right now the country is literally being closed.”

On the comments of Dr. Addressed to Holohan, he said: “The data does not support the risk.”

“If you look at the HSE’s daily published information, the incidence of positive cases attributable to international travel averaging 14 days is usually somewhere under 20,” he said.

“Twenty cases and in the last two weeks we had the population of Galway and Dundalk so over 120,000 people came in and out of the country and only 20 cases are attributed to it.”

traffic light

Mr Dalton said the new traffic light system would go into effect in Ireland in early November. However, he cautioned that the system would not work without a “fast, scalable, and accurate method of testing people who come to this country.”

He noted that the big decisions that need to be made are whether the tests should be done before departure or after arrival, and whether the tests should be antigen or PCR.

The PCR tests would cost € 90 per passenger, while the antigen tests would cost between € 5 and € 6 per person.

“The scientific community appears to be committed to antigen testing as a very scalable and affordable way to test and open up countries, and we in Ireland are being left behind, which is causing the country to be in critical condition,” he said.

“Since it’s not about the aviation sector, which by the way is being decimated, it’s about opening up the country.”

Trips abroad

He said people across Europe need clarity on what to do if they want to travel to or from Ireland in the coming months.

“We can’t just let the days go by,” he said. “We went to the Oireachtas in July and talked about clarity in the tests before departure. We are now in October. ”

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