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'A very real danger': Just 4,000 calls made to 60,000 Dublin Airport arrivals in first two weeks of July

Only half of the calls made were answered.

Image: PA

JUST 4,121 CALLS were made to check in with more than 60,000 passengers who arrived through Dublin Airport in the first two weeks of July.

Only around half of those calls were answered. According to figures released by the Department of Justice to co-leader of the Social Democrats Róisín Shortall, some 61,844 passengers arrived in the airport from 1 July to 15 July.

The Border Management Unit (BMU) made 4,121 calls and 2,129 of those calls were answered.

Justice Minister Helen McEntee in her response to Shortall’s parliamentary question said given the increase in passenger numbers recently, the BMU is “required to concentrate on their core immigration duties”.

She said her department awaits handover of this follow-up process to the Department of Health.

The Taoiseach has recently said the government is not happy with the level of follow-up in relation to these forms.

He announced plans to step up monitoring and enforcement including digitising the passenger locator form and creating a centralised database for people entering via ports and airports. He also said a new call centre is also to be established to check in with those people who arrive to Ireland.

Speaking to RTÉ’s Today with Sarah McInerney this morning, Shortall said the figures were “shocking”.

What they indicate is that there are little or no controls in terms of people travelling to this country, very often from countries that have very high levels of the coronavirus. The talk from government about putting in place regulations and controls at our ports and airports simply ring hollow when you look at the figures.

She said the Department of Justice clearly does not “want to be doing it” and is waiting to hand the task over to health officials.

Shortall said this is “a very real danger” and accused the government of being “asleep at the wheel”.

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