International travel restrictions due to Covid-19 are expected to be extended until July 20
Don't book those holidays.
International travel restrictions are expected to be extended until July 20 under proposals to be considered by the Cabinet.
Up to now, people arriving in Ireland from abroad were required to quarantine for two weeks upon arrival. Those restrictions were due to be lifted this Thursday. However, it is now expected that that requirement will continue until at least July 20 and then be reviewed on a fortnightly basis.
This extension comes after a rise in concern of a possible resurgences of Covid-19 in other countries that have lifted restrictions.
Speaking on RTÉ's Today with Sarah McInerney, the Health Service Executive's Chief Clinical Officer, Dr Colm Henry, said that he supports the mandatory quarantine for people coming to Ireland from high-risk countries as there has only been limited success with tracing and tracking people.
Dr Henry also urged people not to go abroad except for essential travel. He said that the re-introduction of the virus from high-risk countries is of concern as it is "hidden, dangerous, and it could be anywhere" and that people who are coming back from those countries risk "throwing away all the gains we have made".
Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Professor Kingston Mills said that Ireland has done very well in reducing Covid-19 cases and that as an island we are in a good position to keep the virus out and eliminate it. However, he said that planes are an ideal environment for transmitting the virus and warned that there would be a big risk of a surge in cases should flights be opened up without restrictions.
Prof Mills said that non-mandatory self-isolation is not working and that, while it is a good idea to have a 'green' list of low-risk destinations to travel to and from, flights are currently arriving from countries such as the US and UK which both have high levels of Covid-19 and that that is "asking for trouble".
He reminded people that the biggest risk of Covid-19 is the huge number of people that carry the virus asymptomatically. Even with testing being carried out, there could be huge numbers of people unknowingly spreading the virus. Without proper restrictions, the virus could be reintroduced and spread among huge numbers before it is caught.
Prof Mills called on people to stay in the country and not go abroad unless it is absolutely essential and to holiday in Ireland for now.