Kerry County Councillor says confirmed close contacts refusing COVID-19 test should be jailed

A Kerry County Councillor says anyone refusing a COVID-19 test, despite being a confirmed close contact, should be jailed.

Fianna Fail Cllr Michael O’Shea was speaking following a motion by Independent Cllr Jackie Healy Rae at the Castleisland Corca Dhuibhne MD meeting.

Cllr Healy Rae called on the Minister for Health and Government to introduce rapid testing for all visitors coming to Ireland through our airports and ports; he also sought clarity around air travel.

All Castleisland Corca Dhuibhne MD Councillors supported the call for rapid testing to be carried out.

They outlined they were not anti-tourist, but stated people need to take personal responsibility, so the sacrifices made in Kerry, and throughout Ireland, are not undone.

Cllr Jackie Healy Rae claimed the Government has failed to act, adding other countries have rapid testing at airports and ports, while more are implementing mandatory self-isolation in dedicated facilities.

The Independent Cllr said his preferred option would be for tourists to self-isolate in Citywest, if they were coming to holiday here.

In response, Fianna Fail Cllr Michael O’Shea says it was worrying to see an increase in confirmed cases in Kerry; he referenced the recent large cluster in Killarney, but it was highlighted it was not tourists who were involved here.

Earlier this week, acting chief medical officer Dr Ronan Glynn outlined there’s evidence people aren’t coming forward for testing, despite being advised to by contact tracers.

Cllr O’Shea said it was criminal that some people were refusing to be tested after being told they are a close contact of a confirmed case; he said these people should be jailed.