Keelings issue statement after flying in workers from Bulgaria 2 months ago

Keelings issue statement after flying in workers from Bulgaria

The workers have been flown in to pick strawberries.

Irish fruit company Keelings have issued a statement confirming that it chartered a plane to fly in "skilled seasonal workers" from Bulgaria.

The company further confirmed that the workers have been brought in to pick fruit, writing: "It is essential that we have adequate staffing on the farm to pick crops quickly as they ripen, or we risk shortages in the market."

The issue was originally raised by politicians Peadar Tóibín and Alan Lawes, who questioned how social distancing could have been observed on a flight purportedly carrying over 180 people.

Since strict travel restrictions have been put in place by the Department of Foreign Affairs, passenger traffic at Dublin Airport has decreased by 99%.

Keelings have said their new workers will be asked to follow the government's guidelines on social distancing, and that no worker will be asked to work during their first 14 days in the country.

"Across our entire business we have also worked tirelessly to implement the HSE and Government guidelines to ensure we are protecting the health of all of our people," the statement read.

"This includes thorough & repeated Covid-19 safety coaching and instruction to follow all the HSE guidelines, which includes 14 days of restricted movement for any new arrivals in the country, prior to starting work in Keelings."