Ryanair, Ireland’s largest airline, today (Fri 21st Aug) called on the Irish Government to add Germany, and the UK to Ireland’s Green list, since both of these countries have lower Covid case rates than Ireland, and the UK’s medical experts and scientists have now agreed that quarantine restrictions are not necessary for passengers from Portugal.
Ryanair criticized NPHET’s continuing mismanagement of travel restrictions to/from Ireland. Irish citizens have suffered unique and isolationist travel restrictions since 1 July last, when most other EU states allowed intra-EU air travel to resume without restrictions. Ryanair pointed out that NPHET, despite keeping Ireland in lockdown since 1 July, have presided over one of the fastest rising Covid case rates in Europe with Irish citizens more likely to contract Covid in Kerry and Kildare than they are in Portugal, Germany or the UK.
Ryanair called on the Irish Govt to end NPHET’s mismanagement of the Covid-19 crisis and Ireland’s Green List travel restrictions, which have unfairly penalised business travel to and from other EU states, many of which have lower Covid case rates than Ireland. It is unacceptable that Irish citizens cannot travel to Germany or the UK without quarantine restrictions, when both these countries have materially lower Covid case rates than Ireland.
|UK & EU States 14 Day Covid Case Rates (20 Aug)|
Source: European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control
Ryanair’s CEO Eddie Wilson said:
“The Irish Govt and NPHET continue to mismanage travel restrictions between Ireland and the other 27 EU member states. Europe’s leading scientists and medical experts (ECDC) have confirmed that intra-EU air travel is safe and has been since 1 July, yet NPHET has imposed unique restrictions on Irish citizens who are still not permitted to travel to/from many EU countries without defective 14 day quarantines. It is time for the Govt to remove these ineffective travel restrictions, and add countries such as Germany, the UK and Portugal to Ireland’s Green List.
The UK yesterday added Portugal to its Green List, and if the UK’s scientists and medical experts are happy to welcome passengers from Portugal without a 14 day quarantine, then Ireland should act likewise. We now have the farcical situation that Irish citizens returning from Portugal via Dublin Airport don’t have to quarantine if they are travelling onto Northern Ireland, yet people returning to the Republic have to quarantine for 14 days.
When leading medical experts such as WHO’s Dr Michael Ryan have clearly stated that “international travel bans are not a sustainable strategy” and that “it is impossible for individual countries to keep their borders shut” it is time for NPHET to listen to the advice of these leading experts and follow the approach of other countries who have lower Covid rates than Ireland despite being open for travel.”