The Oireachtas Committee on COVID-19 has made a suite of recommendations, with a focus on improved testing and stricter controls on inbound travel.
The latest report from the cross-party COVID-19 Committee highlights that some close contacts of confirmed cases are not presenting for testing as recommended.
The document calls for the state to "vigorously" respond to this trend to guarantee that the relevant public health advice is followed.
In essence, they're suggesting the government have a more hands-on approach to push home the fact that testing must be carried out if you've come into contact with somebody who has COVID-19.
Houses of the Oireachtas (@OireachtasNews) August 5, 2020
In relation to testing and tracing the Committee is recommending that capacity for testing be increased to a more ambitious level, while calling for testing times to have a turnaround time of just one day.
In order to hasten this process, the Committee is urging the HSE to allow for the existing channels between GPs and labs to be used for coronavirus testing also.
This will appease construction unions, who have been calling for more rapid testing in the wake of site closures in Dublin over the last few weeks.
Reports emerged last week that several employees at one of the sites in question had to wait up to five days to receive their COVID testing.
Chairman of the Committee, Michael McNamara TD, stressed that adequate testing must be in place should our hospital services face a flu epidemic in the coming months.
We will need a system that has capacity to deal with a sudden surge in demand which will happen if we get a flu epidemic in the Autumn given the overlap on symptoms between the flu and Covid-19 and our already over-crowded hospitals and A&E Departments.
Non-essential travel from overseas
Recommendations on incoming travellers will no doubt pique the intrigue of many, with public ire routinely directed at incoming tourists this last month or so.
The Committee highlights inbound travellers as a "high risk" and wants to see temperature checks upon arrival into the country, combined with testing.
In relation to imposing a mandatory quarantine upon arrival, which many countries are now deploying, the report urges a more diligent monitoring and enforcement of the isolation period.
"The Committee recommends that mandatory quarantine upon entry should be monitored more closely.
"Quarantine should be enforced so that entrants are required to prove that they are compliant with this public health imperative."
With around 25% of all COVID cases in Ireland relating to healthcare workers, the report is encouraging routine temperature checks for such staff upon entry to their workplace.
Increased testing of health workers is also encouraged to identify asymptomatic carriers of the virus.
The report also urges the recognition of COVID-19 as an occupational hazard for healthcare staff.