Irish government urges public to holiday at home after ‘green list’ published

The Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney, has said that while a “green list” of countries has been published it is still safest to “holiday at home”.

File photo dated 04/10/17 of a Ryanair plane
File photo dated 04/10/17 of a Ryanair plane

He spoke out as it he confirmed that 50,000 people a week were leaving the country.

The Irish government previously released a list of 15 countries travellers can go to and not self-isolate on their return.

It currently excludes Great Britain and the US.

The list, which is reviewed every fortnight, is Malta, Finland, Norway, Italy, Hungary, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Cyprus, Slovakia, Greece, Greenland, Gibraltar, Monaco and San Marino.

The 15 countries have an infection rate of five per 100,000 population, or lower, over the last 14 days.

Ireland is currently at 4.9.

The advice to avoid non-essential travel applies to all other countries.

People sit on the sea wall of Castlerock Beach during the bank holiday weekend. Picture: Michael Cooper

At present, travellers arriving in the Republic of Ireland from anywhere other than Northern Ireland are required to self-isolate and restrict their movements for 14 days.

This month the Stormont Executive agreed changes to its quarantine rules, meaning people arriving into NI from more than 50 countries no longer need to self-isolate on arrival.

Speaking on RTÉ News Morning Ireland on Wednesday, Mr Coveney said the country was being cautious so as to prioritise protecting public health but accepted that there has been “confusion” over the issue.

“The overall message from government is that the safest thing to do is to stay at home,” he said.

He said that it was not “doable” and cited the example of Australia, where that system led to clusters in some quarantine locations such as hotels.

He also outlined that a call centre is being set up to make sure everyone who comes into Ireland gets a follow up call to ensure they are where they say they are and have good advice.

This will happen by 10 August.

There are plans for random testing at airports in the Republic of Ireland to be put in place for people coming from non-green list countries.

Speaking in the Dáil on Tuesday afternoon, Taoiseach (Irish PM) Micheál Martin said he would take a “cautious approach” on foreign travel.


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