The US Embassy has said it takes very seriously the concerns of the Irish Government over breaches of Covid-19 regulations here by US military personnel who landed at Shannon Airport in January.

The US Navy personnel did not present negative PCR tests or complete passenger locator forms as required under Covid-19 regulations in operation here since 9 January.

Concerns were raised about a US military aircraft, with five crew and 48 passengers on board, which landed at Shannon on 25 January.

Gardaí informed the US embassy about the breach of Covid-19 regulations.

The military personnel isolated in a hotel in Limerick overnight during which time they left the hotel once, while wearing face masks, to purchase food.

The US embassy said today it takes the Government concern about this flight through Shannon very seriously, and the issue was discussed at the highest level between the embassy and Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney. 

The embassy said that the US government is committed to understanding, respecting, and ensuring all Irish health and safety regulations are followed, in their efforts to mitigate the spread of Covid and protecting citizens.

Edward Horgan, of Shannonwatch which has campaigned against the use of Shannon for military aircraft, said he is not assured by the US embassy's response and believes there have been other instances where health regulations have been breached.

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