Republic of Ireland news

Dublin government introduces airport testing

Health Minister Stephen Donnelly has announced there will be random Covid testing carried out at airports.

THE Republic's Minister for Health has announced random testing at airports saying the "international situation is becoming more volatile".

Minister Stephen Donnelly said Covid-19 testing at airports was approved at cabinet earlier this month.

"We're introducing random testing at the airports and an increased public health presence and we're examining other options as well for further restrictions on non-essential travel because ... the international situation is becoming more volatile," he said.

Mr Donnelly said that in terms of foreign travel, Ireland had the most restrictive measures of any EU country.

However, a spike in the number of coronavirus cases in the Republic has caused concern among health officials.

In the three days up until Sunday, there has been 168 new cases of the virus, compared with 65 cases in the three days before that.

Mr Donnelly said he was concerned about the spike in cases and they were monitoring the cases carefully, adding that they know where most of the cases were coming from.

The minister said that despite the increase in cases the number of people being hospitalised was still falling, adding that there were fewer than 10 cases in hospital, with four in ICU.

The Dublin government is to review whether pubs that do not serve food will be allowed to open on August 10.

Sinn Féin spokesperson on health David Cullinane said that testing must be comprehensive and put in place urgently, saying: "We also urge maximum all-island alignment on the issue."

The Sinn Féin TD added: “Such stringent checks on those coming from Covid-19 hot spots will help deter all non-essential travel and reduce the chance of the virus being imported from these areas.

“It is imperative that we have robust checks in place at our ports of entry to try and detect those carrying Covid-19."

There were no further deaths reported in the Republic at the weekend with 53 additional cases reported.

The Department of Health in Northern Ireland does not update the Covid-19 dashboard over the weekend. On Friday there were no further deaths reported with three people being treated in hospital, two patients in ICU and 10 new positive tests.

In Scotland on Sunday it was reported that there were no further deaths with 31 people having tested positive. There have been 2,491 deaths due to coronavirus in the region.

In Wales there were three further deaths from Covid-19 bringing the total number of people who have lost their lives to 1,565 another 37 people tested positive.

England, which has been the worst hit part of the UK, reported five further deaths and 676 new infections.

It brings the total number of people to have lost their life from the virus in England to 46,201.

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Republic of Ireland news