Ireland's offshore islands go into lockdown in bid to beat coronavirus

Ferry companies serving the three Aran Islands and Inishbofin have agreed to discourage tourists from travelling during the crisis.

Ireland's offshore islands go into lockdown in bid to beat coronavirus

Several offshore islands have gone into lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic with tourists and holiday home owners being discouraged from travelling there.

Ferry companies serving the three Aran Islands and Inishbofin have agreed to discourage tourists from travelling during the crisis.

Island leaders have stressed that there are many vulnerable people living offshore and that logistically they may not have the same access to testing and care as people living on the mainland.

Around 1,300 people live permanently on the three Aran Islands off the Co Galway coast with a further 180 people living on Inishbofin close to the Mayo border.

All four islands enjoy a huge tourist trade each summer with tens of thousands travelling there from home and abroad.

But all four islands, following telephone polls and other ways on canvassing local opinion, have requested that people do not travel there until this crisis has passed.

Inishbofin Development Company issued a statement said it was important that appropriate measures be put in place.

“In light of the rapidly escalating Covid-19 crisis, and having listened to the concerns of ferry operators, we feel it is reasonable to discourage all tourists, holiday home owners and work people from visiting the island until at least March 29,” said the statement.

On Inis Mór, the largest of the Aran Islands with a population of about 800, residents participated in a vote by phone given that they could not have a public meeting, and requested that tourists not travel.

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