Richard Boyd Barrett labels travel policy around Covid-19 a 'shambles'

More than 100 people have had their social welfare payments cut for going on holidays during the coronavirus pandemic.
Richard Boyd Barrett labels travel policy around Covid-19 a 'shambles'
Richard Boyd Barrett the policy is inconsistent. File picture: Gareth Chaney/Collins

More than 100 people have had their social welfare payments cut for going on holidays during the coronavirus pandemic.

Gardaí and social welfare officers are checking the names of people flying out of the country to see if they are receiving unemployment payments.

Those that are travelling abroad, against public health advice, are having their benefits cut off as part of a crackdown.

The Business Post reports that in the last 14 days, 104 people have had their pandemic unemployment payment cut off because they were found to be boarding a flight abroad in breach of rules.

People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett says the policy is inconsistent.

He said: “So they say you can’t go. Then they say you can go to some countries.

“And now they’re saying we’ll financially punish you if go, if you’ve lost your job because of Covid, but if you haven’t lost your job you can go.

“I mean, it’s just unbelievable inconsistent, contradictory and just shows what a shambles the whole travel policy is around Covid-19.” 

Last week, the Government published a ‘green list’ of 15 countries last night which are deemed safe for travel.

People can travel to those countries without having to restrict their movements for 14 days when they return.

Public advice remains to avoid all non-essential travel.

Meanwhile, holidaymakers returning from Spain to Northern Ireland on Sunday morning will have to quarantine for 14 days over fears of a second wave in Covid cases.

The so-called “travel corridor” with Spain was closed from midnight by the British government.

The decision comes after Spain reported more than 900 new daily infections for the past two days.

The decision means those coming back from the popular holiday destination, including its islands, will have to self-isolate for two weeks upon their return to Northern Ireland.

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