It has been reported in the Irish Times today (12/11/2020) that anyone returning to Ireland for Christmas will have to pay up to €200 for a PCR test.

Cathie Shiels, Workers’ Party representative for Finglas/Ballymun said ‘There are several issues with this. Firstly, regardless of how much we wish to have our loved ones with us, it is simply not advisable to allow a high volume of international travel at this time. We are not long into a second lockdown and whatever progress we have made could be jeapordised by complacency. Secondly is it wise to substitute a PCR test with the usual two-week quarantine period? PCR tests are generally more useful for confirming the presence of an infection rather than giving the patient the all clear and in our opinion should not be seen as a substitute for following the proper protocols.’

She continued ‘no testing should be in the hands of private companies. It MUST be state controlled. It is astounding that the government would approve this considering not very many workers will be in a position to afford this test.

She concluded ‘The desire for people to come home and spend the Christmas period with their loved ones is understandable. However, paying your way out of quarantine should not be on the table. The price to the purchaser is extortionate and the social consequences could be considerable.’