Free movement of United States troops in Ireland

No Covid test or completion of obligatory contact tracing forms after a flight from the Middle East, it’s claimed

Sligo News File

So now it’s not only stopover flights but seemingly also stopover stays in Irish hotels by American troops travelling through Shannon.

And it also looks that troops who disembarked at the airport in January weren’t even asked to satisfy the State’s negative Covid test requirements  or complete contact tracing forms after their flight from the Middle East

Presumably, American forces realise that Ireland is not a state of the United States where they can wander about as they please.

According to reports, nearly 50 flew in aboard a US Navy C40 transport jet from Bahrain on 25 January. Why they opted to stay in Limerick instead of carrying on back to the States certainly warrants explanation.

No less a concern is whether Irish authorities on duty at Shannon explicitly requested sight of any records or documentation when the troops arrived there or raised any questions before they headed out of the airport for Limerick?

One media account states that the contingent was subsequently directed to isolate overnight at a Limerick hotel they had booked into but still left there to look for food.

Failing to fill out a locator form carries a six-month prison term and a fine of €2,500. Failing to provide a valid Covid-19 test also carries a €2,500 fine.

Coveney, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, has reportedly said military sources in the States have apologised for the incident  through the Irish embassy in Washington with the message it was all “due to an error on the US side.”

As of 25 January, Bahrain had a total of 99,817 confirmed cases of Covid-19, including 368 deaths. In that same month, Bahrain witnessed a 43% increase in COVID-19 cases compared to figures for December 2020. Significant outbreaks of the virus have also been recorded in other close-by Middle Eastern States.