The lure of a sun holiday is strong.
But as Spanish authorities announce that Irish tourists are welcome to visit without quarantine from July 1st and Ryanair launches a summer seat sale, Minister for Health Simon Harris is asking the Irish public to avoid foreign travel for now.
The budget airline will fly up to 40% of its normal schedule to ‘key holiday airports’ in Spain, Italy, Portugal, Greece and Cyprus from July 1st, with one-way fares starting from €29.99.
“After four months of lockdown, we welcome these moves by governments in Italy, Greece, Portugal, Spain and Cyprus to open their borders, remove travel restrictions and scrap ineffective quarantines,” said Ryanair chief executive Eddie Wilson.
In response, Minister Harris took to Twitter this morning to remind his 164,000 followers that the public health advice is to avoid all non-essential trips off the island, “that’s what our doctors are telling us in the interests of our health.” he stated.
Earlier Mr Harris had praised the “very welcome and significant drop” in the number of Covid-19 patients in Irish hospitals, where there has been a reduction of 70 in 24 hours.
Very welcome & significant drop in number of #Covid19 patients in Irish hospitals. A reduction of 70 in 24 hours. Let’s keep driving it down & weakening the grip of this awful virus. We will get there. Please keep following public health advice. Thanks for all you are doing pic.twitter.com/DWr4xhFxKD
— Simon Harris TD (@SimonHarrisTD) May 27, 2020
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade advises against all non-essential travel overseas until further notice. According to a statement on the DFA website, “This includes Great Britain but does not apply to Northern Ireland. It also includes all travel by cruise ship.”
Anyone coming into Ireland, apart from Northern Ireland, is required to self-isolate for 14 days, upon arrival, and to complete a Public Health Passenger Locator Form. This includes Irish residents. Exemptions are in place for providers of essential supply chain services such as hauliers, pilots and maritime staff.