Irish travellers in Greece and Italy will have to quarantine from Monday as green list cut

Irish travellers in Greece and Italy will have to quarantine from Monday as green list cut

Labour Party Spokesperson on Transport Duncan Smith TD: "The Government has made a complete mess of this with an incoherent and inconsistent policy."  File picture: Leah Farrell/Rollingnews.ie

Irish people currently in a number of green list countries will have to restrict their movements from next week after the Government changed its travel list.

Greece and Italy, which are popular holiday destinations for Irish travellers, have been removed from the latest green list which comes into force from Monday.

However, the Government has been accused of creating confusion and of lacking any concrete plans around airport testing.

Opposition parties have now called for a clear plan on travel restrictions, including testing at airports following the updates to the list.

A scaled-back green list has been announced, meaning people can travel to Cyprus, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland without quarantining on their return. However, this list will be updated on a weekly basis.

From Monday, Hungary, Italy, Slovakia, Greece, Norway, and Estonia will be removed from the list, and their security status rating has been changed to ‘avoid non-essential travel'. Passengers arriving into Ireland from these locations will be requested to restrict their movements.

Sinn Féin transport spokesperson Darren O'Rourke said his party has been calling for testing at airports for the past three months but said the Government has been continuously "flip-flopping" on the matter.

He said: "We are still deeply concerned in relation to testing and tracing, we are not convinced or persuaded by the passenger location form."

He said the lack of airport testing is now a "fundamental weakness in our response to the virus".

Labour transport spokesperson, Duncan Smith said as far back as August health minister Stephen Donnelly had announced that random testing at airports would begin imminently, but said testing has yet to commence.

He said: “The Government has made a complete mess of this with an incoherent and inconsistent policy. They need to immediately come out and explain what the definitive position on airport testing is, when it will commence. And if it is definitively scrapped, they need to tell us why.

“We are now nearly two months on from when Minister Donnelly made the initial announcement about airport testing. It seems the Government has no concrete plans to put in place a comprehensive testing and tracing regime in our airports and are making it up as they go along."

While the Government has agreed to adopt the traffic light system currently being worked on by the European Commission, the Department of Foreign Affairs will be using its own green list until the EU-wide measures are signed off on.

"People should use our travel advice to carefully consider their need to go abroad and take into account the restrictions that other countries may have on travellers from Ireland," a Department of Foreign Affairs spokesperson said.

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