Fintan O’Toole: Absence of Covid defences at Dublin Airport is startling

Lack of testing and adequate tracing stand in stark contrast to situation in Copenhagen

A public awareness campaign for Covid-19 at Dublin Airport. Photograph: Alan Betson

A public awareness campaign for Covid-19 at Dublin Airport. Photograph: Alan Betson

Today is my last day of restricted movements. I had to go to England a fortnight ago, did a very quick turnaround and headed straight back into rural semi-isolation. A few days earlier, my son, his partner and their little boy had returned to Copenhagen from a similarly restricted visit to us in Ireland. So between us, around the same time, we went through two different systems for handling arrivals. The comparison was not reassuring.

At Copenhagen Airport, as in many international airports in Europe, you can have a test for Covid-19 – no appointment, no fee. There’s a test centre beside the car park. You can walk up or drive in. It’s open seven days a week, from 6am until midnight. The test takes five minutes and you get the results online in less than 48 hours. If you’re too hassled, you can get the test under the same conditions in lots of different places the next morning. Because they were travelling with a baby, this is what my son and his partner did – five minutes, in and out, negative results less than two days later.

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