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Kerry Airport COVID tests now available at Bon Secours Hospital

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TESTING: Kerry Airport passengers can now get a COVID-19 test at the Bon Secours Hospital in Tralee without the need of a doctor's referral.

 

Kerry Airport Ireland and Bon Secours Hospital Tralee will provide COVID-19 tests for pre and post air travellers in and out of Kerry Airport this Christmas and into the New Year. The five-step online self-referral tests will be carried out at Bon Secours Hospital Tralee, not at Kerry Airport.

The test can be taken by outbound passengers a few days before they fly and inbound passengers a few days after they arrive in the county and once they have complied with any isolation regulations that are in place at that time. The test costs €80 – the lowest in the country.

The idea will overrule the need to get a doctor's referral before attending the drive-in clinic at the Tralee hospital.

“It’s beyond comprehension that it has become such a difficult decision, whether to travel home or not. This is something that our diaspora would not give a second thought about any other year. But this is not any year and, so far, the advice from those who know is ‘don’t travel’ because the risks associated with COVID transmission are too high,” the Chief Executive of Kerry Airport Ireland, John Mulhern, said. “Most will sacrifice the trip this time for the greater good, but for some there are people very special to them who live alone or have lost all their social outlets this year. Many are feeling depressed or at least a little sad and need company. These visits home are essential to their health and well-being and we must make them possible, but safe.”

There are currently two daily return flights between Kerry Airport and Dublin with Aer Lingus Regional while Ryanair are due to resume their services to London (Luton and Stansted) in mid-December.

Passengers who wish to undergo a COVID test can visit www.bonsecours.ie/bst_selfreferralform.

Once the referral form has been completed, the Laboratory Department at Bon Secours Hospital Tralee will confirm the appointment date and time via email.

The routine hours for the swabbing clinic are daily between 8.15am to 10am, Monday to Saturday,

The swabbing clinic is in the staff car park of the Bon Secours Hospital Tralee. The entrance to the clinic is via the Matt Talbot Road. This is a drive through clinic and you will be asked to remain in your car.

A payment of €80 for the test may be made online when making the referral or over the phone when the appointment is being confirmed.

FUNDING

Meanwhile, Kerry Airport is in line to get €1.5 million in funding as part of the annual Government funded Regional Airport's Programme.

The funding, which will go towards enhancing safety operations at the airport such as air traffic control, fire services and security, is an increase in the €200,000 awarded last year.

It is also in addition to the €1.17 granted in July for capital investment and the €6m COVID-19 operational support funding, announced last month and that will be shared with Donegal and Knock Airports.

“Kerry Airport is enormously important both to the infrastructure and economy of County Kerry and the Southwest. This funding, coupled with the financial supports provided in the budget in October and early November will go some way towards helping Kerry Airport remain financially sustainable as it plans for a time beyond COVID-19,” Kerry TD and Minister for Education Norma Foley said.

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What to look out for when viewing second hand homes

By Ted Healy of DNG TED HEALY After spending so long saving for a mortgage and filling in countless application forms, you are now ready to begin your house hunting in earnest. Set yourself a budget and have a look to see what is available in your desired locations within that budget. Viewing appointments can […]

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By Ted Healy of DNG TED HEALY

After spending so long saving for a mortgage and filling in countless application forms, you are now ready to begin your house hunting in earnest.

Set yourself a budget and have a look to see what is available in your desired locations within that budget.
Viewing appointments can be arranged via a telephone call or a simple email to the selling agent. When making the appointment make it clear that the mortgage is in place and you are ‘ready to go’.

This week we will deal with viewing second hand homes and what to look out for on that first property viewing.

When you arrive at a house, you’ll get a general feel outside of how well it’s been maintained. Arrive early and study the exterior of the property before going in, and have a glance at neighbouring properties. This will help you to get your bearings before continuing with the viewing.

If viewing an older house, a musty smell is the first red flag for signs of damp. Also be wary of the smell of fresh paint; was this done to simply freshen the property up or what is it covering up? Is paintwork bubbling or flaking?

Take note of any wall cracking; hairline cracks in walls and ceilings are generally fine, but if you can spot a crack from the other side of the room, then it’s probably big enough to be concerned about.

In older houses, take a good look at windows and roofs. Window frames can slope downward if there are poor ground conditions underneath, and the roof of the house can sag in too.

Is there room to extend? If you are lucky enough that there is have a look for external manhole covers; it gives a good indication of the drainage and pipe layout which may complicate a future extension.

Don’t be afraid to ask the nosy questions; why is the house for sale? How long has it been on the market? How long have the current owners resided there? Has the house been rented out frequently? How many times has it changed hands in the last decade? Have there been any refurbishments? Has it been rewired/replumbed? Who are the neighbours? What is included in the selling price?

It is a good idea to take photos (with the agents consent) or videos as this will help you remember the property after you have returned home.

And finally, don’t be afraid to ask for more time. Spend as much time as you think you need to and don’t hesitate to request a second viewing.

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Bus to Belfast to stay on the road

A Kerry TD has today (Monday) welcomed the news that the Bus to Belfast is to stay on the road. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae said assurances from the Department of Health that The Northern Ireland Planned Healthcare Scheme (NI PHS), which has been in effective operation since January 1 this year, will remain in place until […]

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A Kerry TD has today (Monday) welcomed the news that the Bus to Belfast is to stay on the road.

Deputy Michael Healy-Rae said assurances from the Department of Health that The Northern Ireland Planned Healthcare Scheme (NI PHS), which has been in effective operation since January 1 this year, will remain in place until a new a statutory scheme is put in place.

The Kerry deputy avails of this service for his constituents on a regular basis and said many were concerned that the scheme may come to an end due to Brexit.

“What this will mean to so many of my constituents is that they can continue to avail of this scheme for treatments for cataract removals by travelling from Kerry by bus to Belfast so that they can get treated in a timely manner and get back to living their lives in a healthy manner,” Deputy Healy-Rae said.

“I am delighted that the Government has seen the good sense to help continue this scheme and I’m delighted that the pressure of representation that I have brought to this scheme will see it continue.”

The Scheme was first introduced to mitigate the loss of access to care from private providers in Northern Ireland under the EU Cross Border Directive, which ceased to apply as a result of Brexit. However, the Government intends to place the administrative NI PHS on a statutory basis and an extensive examination of options to inform the drafting of a General Scheme is currently underway with confirmation that the administrative scheme will remain until such time that a statutory scheme is in place.

Patients also continue to have access to health services under the EU Cross Border Directive Scheme in all other remaining EU/EEA countries.

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