“Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Executive’s refusal to act on medical advice until it’s too late has worsened the crisis and wreacked further devastation on workers and families.
“It is with extraordinary levels of incompetence that flight restrictions are only now being considered, just days before Christmas, as the virus is spreading unabated, and in new strains. People have been disgracefully left confused, stranded, and panicked.
“The truth is, non-essential flights should have been stopped during the first wave, and quarantine measures implemented, until elimination levels of the virus were reached. This was done by other island nations internationally who have successfully eradicated COVID-19. This is the kind of Zero-COVID strategy that PBP have advocated.
“However, wave after wave, the Executive, the Tories and the Irish Government have failed to prioritise health over profits or to stand up to captains of the airline industry. It is deeply disturbing that they have waited until the 11th hour before considering such restrictions.
“Once again, it is plain to see that the Executive are unfit to lead us through this crisis. They must apologise for their recklessness which has led to tragic and unnecessary deaths, and move immediately to compensate families who will be financially hit by these latest developments.
“Finally, we must continue to reject any notion that ordinary people are to blame for the spread of this virus. By refusing to implement a proper eradication strategy and financially support people to stay safe, the Executive has been negligent. Their attempts to shift blame downwards is a downright disgrace and we should not forget it.”