The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney TD has confirmed of two further incidents involving US troops breaching Covid-19 regulations after landing at Shannon airport.
Earlier this month, Minister Coveney disclosed of 48 US military personnel and five crew breaching Covid-19 regulations when not presenting evidence of negative PCR tests nor completing passenger location forms after landing at Shannon airport from Bahrain on January 25th.
Those troops and crew stayed in a Limerick hotel overnight, leaving at one point to buy food, before flying on to the US the following day.
Minister Coveney stated that the passengers concerned were operating in a ‘clean bubble,’ and were tested repeatedly during the period they were deployed in the location where the flight originated.
Now, Minister Coveney has revealed two separate breaches involving 113 US personnel on two other flights from two other dates in January prior to the first reported breach.
In a written Dail response to John Brady (SF), Minister Coveney has stated in addition to the January 25th flight, there are two other landings where Gardai have brought his attention to breaches of public health guidelines by US troops.
He stated that the first was on January 11th when 59 US military personnel alighted at Shannon airport and those passengers did not comply with the public health regulation where they did not complete passenger locator forms.
Minister Coveney confirmed that on January 23rd, 54 personnel who landed at Shannon did not present negative PCR tests nor complete Passenger Locator Forms.
Minister Coveney told Deputy Brady: “We have emphasised to the US authorities that all landings must fully abide by the conditions put in place by the Irish authorities, including public health conditions.”
In reply to a separate written Dail question on the issue, Minister Coveney told Deputy Brady: “In my conversation with the Chargé d'Affaires of the US Embassy in Dublin on February 4th, I emphasised that all landings must fully abide by the conditions put in place by the Irish authorities, including public health conditions.
Minister Coveney stated: “The US authorities have assured me that they take Irish public health requirements very seriously. I have received apologies, both orally and in writing, from the relevant US authorities, including the US military authorities. The US side has recommitted to full compliance in respect of future landings.”