Covid-19 and tourist areas

 

Sir, – I think I am expressing the fear and concern of many people arising from Government persistence in ignoring the most crucial medical advice about the need to impose mandatory quarantine on all incoming travellers to Ireland.

The country at large needs to know that in all these outlying tourist areas we now have exceptionally high numbers of visitors. What is not so obvious as a consequence of current policy is that the back door to the virus is wide open – in the absence of any real or meaningful management of tourists from abroad – in towns, on the roads, in campsites, on the beaches, at amusements, at all businesses large and small, accommodation, beauty spots and amenities.

Among these crowds are unprecedented numbers of visitors from UK, a constant if smaller than usual flow of visitors from US, and increasing numbers of visitors from elsewhere, such as France, Germany and Belgium.

The majority of these overseas visitors were not self-isolating.

Small local teams of gardaí could never have been expected to police this adequately, even if the majority of these visitors were in compliance with the rules, which has never been the case. A lot of these visitors have no awareness at all of safe behaviours currently required of everyone in Ireland, and in some cases do not agree with them.

I believe a lot of people in all these communities are very worried and exposed and would urgently desire that the Government would stop ignoring what is possibly the most crucial piece of advice for our safety and the necessity to reduce in all possible ways the possible impact and severity of a second wave of Covid-19. – Yours, etc,

CLAIRE O’HALLORAN,

Tralee,

Co Kerry.

Sir, – I note that the Taoiseach has said that it is “impossible” to enforce mandatory quarantine for people arriving in Ireland. I find this argument hard to accept. If the Government could enforce restrictions on non-essential travel within Ireland during lockdown, there is no reason why they cannot deploy the Garda­ Síochána or State agencies to ensure that people, especially those arriving from high-risk Covid-19 countries, undergo mandatory quarantine. To fail to do so means we continue to risk reimporting the virus into Ireland again and again. – Yours, etc,

NICOLA DAVERON,

Athenry,

Co Galway.