Wexford Independent Deputy, Verona Murphy has welcomed the move by government to begin rapid antigen testing for all transport drivers leaving the country following her call to the Taoiseach and NPHET back in December 2020 to introduce these tests to help ensure that the supply chain of goods is safeguarded amid the present Covid-19 crisis.
Speaking from Dublin on Thursday morning, the Independent TD went on to say:
“The government now needs to take every practical measure to ensure that Covid is not brought onto our ships. This means all passengers and staff need to be rapid tested. If we allow Covid onto ships and crews become infected, it would do serious damage to our ability to keep our supermarket shelves stocked with food and drink. Imagine the disruption caused if multiple ships and crews had to quarantine at the same time for 2 weeks. We do not have spare ships available as short notice replacements.”
The Deputy communicated it is planned for a Rapid testing site to be established in Holmestown facility in Wexford and a second site in Gorey to provide testing for drivers using Rosslare Europort. The testing sites are expected to be operational over the coming weekend.
The Independent TD and former President of the IRHA concluded with a further appeal to government:
“We are in the midst of a supply chain crisis with an outdated and understaffed customs system which is crippling Irish businesses which in turn will result in major job losses. The Covid crisis is keeping this customs chaos out of the headlines but it is a train crash in the making. The government need to address as a matter of urgency the defunct customs system which is destroying Irelands SMEs”.