FLIGHTS from the United States should be stopped until mandatory Covid-19 testing is in place at airports, the Labour Party has said.
Coronavirus infections continue to spiral in parts of the US but flights are still landing in Ireland.
Labour's Transport spokesman Duncan Smith has called on the government to suspend flights from the US and other Covid-19 hotspots until there is a testing regime in airports for passengers from those locations.
He also said there should be strong enforcement of the 14-day quarantine period.
Mr Smith said: “There is huge public concern at the arrival into Ireland of visitors from the United States, and the total lack of enforcement of the 14 day mandatory quarantine period.
"The current rules are unworkable and unenforceable, and the public are rightly upset about this.
"We are the only EU country allowing visitors from the US at the moment. The only requirement for visitors is to fill in a passenger locator form which simply isn’t enough."
Dublin Fingal TD Mr Smith added: “The line from the Government that they will tighten the rules is not sustainable when our current measures are unenforceable and the risk is already here. We have yet to see what countries will be on a ‘green list’ but in the meantime we are opening our country to unnecessary risk.
“For months Irish people have made the hard sacrifices needed to get Covid-19 under control on our island.
"We can’t now have a situation where visitors from abroad are visiting Ireland but not following the rules.
Mr Smith said: "The pandemic is out of control in large parts of the United States, and all our hard work to protect our most vulnerable is now for nothing if visitors from there to Ireland don’t follow the recommended 14 day quarantine."
He said that: "Even if it is just a few hundred people a week it is better to be safe and test where we can, to provide some certainty."
Mr Smith said there are five flights due into Dublin tomorrow - from New York, Boston, Chicago, Newark and Dallas - and four more on Wednesday.
“Our public health officials are rightly worried at the risk from travel into Ireland, and it is clear we need more effective control measures at our airports and ports," he said.
If you can smell someone else's perfume or aftershave, you're too close to them. If you're near someone and they are speaking loudly because the music is loud, or even if there's no music (how we Irish love to shout after a few drinks), you're in danger of becoming infected. If someone puts their arm around you, calling you their best friend, there's a chance you'll become infected.