Irish Examiner View: Time to take responsibility for travel

Irish Examiner View: Time to take responsibility for travel
A man wearing a protective face mask in the departures area of terminal one at Dublin airport. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

It is hard to understand the accusations of mixed messaging with the publication of the so-called green list of countries while at the same time advising people to holiday at home.

The Government published the list of 15 countries where the travel advice will be to take normal precautions, and people arriving in Ireland from these countries will not have to restrict their movements for 14 days. At the same time, the advice remains not to indulge in unnecessary travel, even to those 15 countries.

Where is the confusion? It is a bit like being told: Yes, you can turn on the light switch, but not if your hands are wet. Instead of using — or misusing — the charge of mixed messaging as an excuse to holiday abroad, people need to take responsibility for their own actions.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney, explained the reasoning behind publishing the list. He said that 50,000 people a week are leaving Ireland and there is an obligation to give them travel advice based on the risk of their conduct. That, of course, contradicts the view of his party leader and Tánaiste, Leo Varadkar, who questioned the need to publish such a list.

The more pertinent point now is how we deal with travel to and from countries where the pandemic is still raging and whether mandatory quarantine should be in effect for anyone arriving in Ireland from any one of those countries.

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