THOUSANDS of tourists are arriving in Ireland with inadequate PCR tests which reportedly fail to detect Covid-19.
A senior Government source has revealed that "planeloads" of infected individuals are flying into the country before immediately testing positive for the virus.
In order to get into Ireland, passengers must produce proof of a negative PCR test before travelling, but it's understood that many arrivals have been taking deficient tests which don't always detect Covid-19 to gain access to the country.
"I know they are flying in planeloads of infected people," a senior Government source said.
"These people, they are all coming in with negative tests. There is no way you can have a whole plane load of people coming in, and they are all coughing and spluttering on the plane with negative PCR tests.
"It’s got to the stage that no one pays any attention to these tests, people say, 'When we came in on a flight we had a negative test', but they may as well say they’ve had an ice cream because it makes no difference because they are symptomatic.
"You might have one or two people symptomatic by pure random chance and they don’t test positive on the test, but to have half a plane load of people come in they can’t all have failed a PCR test.
"[It's] just poor quality testing. The PCR test is a standard test but it’s all down to the quality of the swabbing. That’s the weak point of the PCR test. It’s only as good as the swab."
It comes after the HSE revealed that close to a thousand Covid-19 cases detected in Ireland in July have been linked to travel.