Government considering further restrictions on international travel

The Health Minister Stephen Donnelly said the UK would not be included on any plans that would see travel restricted
Government considering further restrictions on international travel
Ireland is considering further restrictions for non-essential travel, Health Minister Stephen Donnelly has confirmed. Picture: Leon Farrell / Rollingnews.ie

The Government is considering restricting international travel to countries with rising Covid-19 rates.

Just days after three counties in Ireland saw restrictions reintroduced after a spike in coronavirus rates linked to meat processing plants, the Health Minister said the country will again review foreign travel.

Stephen Donnelly wrote on social media that the Government are currently considering their options.

"Many are asking about travel/tourists coming into Ireland from countries with high Covid rates. My Dept is preparing options for Gov (sic) on how to restrict non-essential travel from third countries (outside EU/UK) with high rates of Covid," he said, adding he was "concerned" about high rates in "some places".

"These options will be finalised as soon as possible.

"While travel-related cases here remain small, some countries are seeing a rapid rise in cases so the risk is increasing. Once proposals are finalised they will be presented to Gov for discussion."

He added that the UK would not be included on any plans that would see travel restricted, despite England's rising rate of community transmission.

Sinn Féin said the announcement is more "chaotic" messaging from the government.

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Transport Darren O’Rourke called on the Government to clarify whether it intends to introduce a ‘red list’ for international travel.

“When it comes to this Government’s handling of foreign travel, we are yet again left dealing with speculation where we instead need clarity," he said.

“For months now, the Government’s policy on international travel has been confusing and chaotic.

“The prospect of a travel ban has significant implications for would-be travellers and for business, not least in the aviation sector itself. The Minister should outline his position clearly and in specific detail.

“NPHET has advocated mandatory quarantine not flight bans. If the Minister is of a different opinion, he should outline why."

Meanwhile, HSE chief Paul Reid doesn't believe the current state of localised lockdown represents a second wave, but the public should remain vigilant about the virus.

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