Sharp increase in arrivals as 21,000 people flew into Dublin Airport last week

Currently, there are 23 patients with Covid-19 in ICU, while 59 people are in hospital - the lowest in nearly nine months.
Sharp increase in arrivals as 21,000 people flew into Dublin Airport last week

Nearly 12,000 were Irish residents returning from abroad and over 9,200 were non-residents. Picture: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin

The number of people who arrived into Dublin Airport rose by nearly 36% last week despite mandatory hotel quarantine for over 50 countries.

Over 21,100 people flew into the facility compared to 15,600 the previous week.

Nearly 12,000 were Irish residents returning from abroad and over 9,200 were non-residents.

Fianna Fáil senator Lisa Chambers says the sharp increase is positive.

She said that people being able to get back out and travelling shows the vaccine programme is working.

"For Ireland, as a small island, we rely on that connectivity and people coming into our country for business, for tourism," she said.

"It's good news for hospitality, tourism and aviation sector that people are starting to get back moving.

"It shows we are finally turning a corner, we are finally starting to come out of this."

Ms Chambers said that 80% of the hospitality sector in Dublin city depends on international travel and without it there will be major problems and job losses.

Currently, 16 of the 27 countries in the EU have lower Covid-19 incidence rates than Ireland.

The country has slipped down the table recently, as many other states have seen big improvements in their 14-day rates.

Malta is the best in the EU with just 13 cases per 100,000 people.

Professor Michael Borg, from Mater Dei Hospital in Malta, says tough restrictions were put in place in March after a spike of cases.

Groups meeting in households were limited to two and other measures around non-essential social activity were introduced.

Non-essential shops were closed and non-essential businesses such as cinemas were also closed.

Prof Borg said the restrictions had a good impact on the case numbers.

He said they are very proud of their vaccination rollout which has now opened up to all age groups.

'Numbers in hospitals dropping significantly'

Here in Ireland, the number of people being treated in intensive care for coronavirus is at its lowest level this year.

There are 23 patients with Covid-19 currently in ICU, while 59 people are in hospital - the lowest in nearly nine months.

There have been 398 new cases of the disease confirmed in the Republic.

Trinity College Dublin Professor of Immunology Kingston Mills says the drop in hospital numbers is due to vaccination.

"Right now the numbers in hospitals is dropping significantly so that is very good news," said Prof Mills.

"Probably because most of the cases are in the younger population which don't get it as severely as the older population.

"That is a direct result of the vaccination of the older population."

Yesterday, the Taoiseach said that one million people are fully vaccinated.

Micheál Martin said that the Government’s earlier target of vaccinating 82% of the population by the end of July would likely not be met.

However, he said it was his expectation that around 70% of adults would be fully vaccinated by that point.

The HSE expects this week to have given between 250,000 and 270,000 doses, and up to 290,000 next week.

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