Random coronavirus testing being introduced at Irish airports
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Random coronavirus testing being introduced at Irish airports

RANDOM CORONAVIRUS testing is to be introduced in airports across Ireland. 

Health minister Stephen Donnelly confirmed the plans during an appearance on RTÉ's This Week, citing the fact the "international situation is becoming more volatile". 

Mr Donnelly said the move comes as part of “a cautious approach” by the government, in the wake of a recent rise in coronavirus cases. 

Over the past three days, 168 new cases of the virus have been recorded by the Health Department. 

That figure represents a noticeable increase on the 65 reported over the three days previous. 

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"We're introducing random testing at the airports and an increased public health presence," Mr Donnelly explained, adding that passenger locator forms would be going from paper to electronic. 

Tracing teams would also be “bulked up” in an effort to ensure any increase in case numbers is effectively managed. 

The government is also considering the introduction of further measures to restrict non-essential travel with Mr Donnelly noting that Ireland was taking extra precautions compared with some countries in the EU. 

Anyone coming into Ireland is currently required to restrict their movements for a minimum of 14 days, with the only exception being those travelling from Northern Ireland. 

The move comes amid concerns many US visitors are failing to complete the two-week quarantine period upon arrival in Ireland.

Mr Donnelly also refused to be drawn on whether pubs would reopen on August 10, telling the programme that officials were examining “all options” before making a decision. 

The priority for government remains the reopening of schools in September and any major changes would be based on the advice of the National Public Health Emergency Team. 

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