When can Irish holiday makers expect to be allowed to travel
In Ireland, the next phase in the exit from Lockdown starts on June 29th, co-incidentally, that is the same date the UK is planning to outline which countries it will have air bridges to, although according to reports in the UK, those bridges will not come into affect until July 4th.
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) is also still advising “against all non-essential travel overseas until further notice,” and that advisory includes Britain, but not Northern Ireland.
The regulations also remain in force requiring people entering the Republic of Ireland from abroad, to provide the address where they will be self-isolating for the required 14-day period. They have just been extended for a further three weeks, and will now be in place until at least July 9th.
People who do not fill out the passenger locator form on arrival in Ireland, or who provide false details, can face a fine of €2,500 or a prison term of six months.
Airlines do have plans to take to the air again, and Ryanair has said that they have seen a “surge" of bookings from Irish holiday makers for July and August, with people wanting to fly to the sun.
It is, however, worth pointing out that while the airline talks about a surge in new bookings, many of the seats on flights to Spain, Portugal and Italy this summer, will have been rearranged for Irish families who had plans in place long before the pandemic hit.
Air bridges and travel agreements between countries that have low transmission rates are startingtotake place now, with both countries willing to accept departure screening measures for passengers, removing the need for travel bans or quarantine, but Ireland has not committed to any of these as yet.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has raised the possibility of establishing them with EU countries which have suppressed the virus, and Government officials have been engaged in talks with several countries about rolling out them out in the weeks ahead.
Things are moving slowly and travelling within the EU is probably the best Irish people can hope for in the weeks ahead.