Green list 'gives a mixed message' to the public, says former IMO president

The Labour Party has also called on the Government to publish a clear definition of essential travel.
Green list 'gives a mixed message' to the public, says former IMO president

The Government published a list 15 countries last night which are deemed safe for travel. File image.

A former president of the Irish Medical Organisation has said the ‘green list’ is a very bad idea.

The Government published a list 15 countries last night which are deemed safe for travel.

People can now go to these countries without having to restrict their movements for 14 days when they return.

But the advice remains to avoid all non-essential travel.

The countries on the green list are: Greece, Malta, Finland, Norway, Italy, Hungary, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Cyprus, Slovakia, Greenland, Gibraltar, Monaco and San Marino.

However, Dr Martin Daly said the list is sending out a mixed message to the public.

He said: “In terms of the advice that there is a list of green countries that people can travel too, that I suppose in effect gives a mixed message again to the public.” 

Dr Daly added that the Government needs to clarify what is essential and what is non-essential travel.

“The public expects that type of information.” 

There has also been criticism of the lack of an all-island approach with the plan, as Northern Ireland's 'green list' includes 58 countries.

Dr Daly said with the North under the jurisdiction of the UK that: “I wouldn’t say that UK is any example on how to manage the Covid crisis.

“They have their own problems.

“Of course the border is our border between the North and the South and it is something that is going to have to be managed.” 

File image. Picture: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
File image. Picture: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Meanwhile, the Labour Party has also called on the Government to publish a clear definition of essential travel.

"The Cabinet decision last night brought some clarity to the shambles we’ve seen over international travel but it still doesn’t address the concerns people have over travel,” said Duncan Smith, the party’s transport spokesperson.

“Everyone knows that green means go. However, we’ve had a fortnight of mixed messages about international travel into and out of our island.

“We still have no definition of essential travel and the criteria that apply for Irish people who have bookings for holidays in green list locations is not clear.

“If they cancel their holiday can they get a refund? The Government should also publish the public health advice they relied on for their decision.

“The mixed messages must now stop, and the Cabinet decision last night is the first step to address that. However more needs to be done.”

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