'Green list' should only include countries trying to get Covid-19 rate to zero, says health expert

'Green list' should only include countries trying to get Covid-19 rate to zero, says health expert
A man wearing protective face mask walks through Terminal 2 in Dublin Airport. File image.

A leading health expert claims the 'green list' should only include countries trying to get their Covid-19 rate to zero.

The publication of the list has been delayed because of the EU summit in Brussels, and it will not be released until later this week.

People travelling to the chosen countries will not have to quarantine for two weeks when they return.

UCC professor Gerry Killeen says the list certainly should not include England, the United States or Brazil.

“It would need to be countries that have similar incidents rates to ourselves,” he said.

“I would say it also needs to be countries that have a plan to take it to zero. That are going after the epidemic and deliberately shrinking it.

“If your gameplay is to play for a draw, as we’ve seen in many countries, things can change very fast.

“And people can find themselves stranded in local lockdowns.” 

It is understood the list, which is still under development is to be "very limited", according to government sources, if it's announced at all, with holiday hotspots such as Spain, Britain and the US omitted from the countries deemed "safe" to visit.

It is understood that there is ongoing tension within the coalition partners over publishing the list, with Fianna Fáil and the Greens opposed to the idea.

Public health experts have pointed out the contradiction of asking the public not to travel unless for essential purposes, yet also publishing a list of countries it is safe to visit. 

It is understood this concern has been flagged by cabinet members to their colleagues, stating their wish to take "a more cautious" approach.

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