Antigen testing should be used to allow people to have dinner parties, according to the Fine Gael leader in the Seanad.
enator Regina Doherty said that antigen testing should be used not just instead of PCR tests for international travel but for schools, hospitality and dinner parties.
Her comments come as Nphet has strongly criticised the use of antigen testing unless it is in strictly controlled environments and that antigen tests should not be a “green light” for travel abroad.
“I think we should have them in schools, I think we should have them in employment, I think we should have them in hospitality,” she told reporters today.
“If you’re having a dinner party in your house, you know – I don’t want you coming to my house on Saturday night if you’re allowed, when you’re one of the three households, if you’ve done an antigen test and you’re positive. Stay home,” she said.
“So I don’t understand why we’re not using them, I really don’t,” Senator Doherty added.
She also said that while PCR tests remain a requirement for travel abroad, passengers should be able to use free HSE-provided PCR tests.
Children will be able to avail of the EU Digital Covid Cert if they have a negative PCR test.
The Senator said that fully vaccinated parents paying for their children’s tests before and after going on holiday will be unaffordable for people.
“You cannot have a scenario where you open up the skies and put two barriers in front of people.
“We’re paying for PCR tests here for the last year in the hundreds of millions to keep people safe. That doesn’t stop – and it doesn’t stop because people, instead of getting on a bus, get on a plane.”
Senator Doherty said that she has four children and from next week, her and her husband will be fully vaccinated – but that they will probably end up having a staycation due to the cost of PCR tests.
“I have four kids – that’s four PCR tests on the way out and four PCR tests on the way back.
“We’ll end up going to Wexford and maybe that’s what Dr Holohan wants because he’s so conscious and he’s a doctor and rightly so, but it’s the State’s job to ensure that we balance the risk,” she said.
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