Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

15.25 10 Jul 2020


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As Irish people continue to be advised against non-essential overseas travel, flights in and out of the country have increased in recent weeks - including from some countries struggling to bring the coronavirus situation under control.

The US is one of those countries facing a continuing challenge, with many states seeing record high cases in recent days and weeks.

Four flights arrived in Dublin Airport from the US this morning - from New York, Chicago, Newark and Dallas.

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The flights from Chicago and New York had about 70-80 people on board - they had been sold out, but many passengers did not show up at the airport in the US.

The Newark flight had around 50 people on board, while the flight from Dallas had 16 passengers.

Texas is one of the US states hardest hit by the pandemic currently, with almost 10,000 new cases yesterday alone.

The Pat Kenny Show's Barry Whyte travelled out to the airport to speak to some of those arriving in Ireland from the US.

One man claimed he believes the COVID-19 situation is "overblown".

However, others said they'll absolutely be following the 14-day self-quarantine advice.

'We came to Ireland to essentially avoid Florida' - The passengers arriving in Ireland from the US

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One couple flew in to Ireland to see family and "essentially avoid Florida", saying they wanted to get out of the state as the COVID-19 situation there is 'pretty bad'.

One of those passengers explained: "We got out while we could, and we went somewhere where the COVID was more contained.

"It seemed really nice getting on the plane, because everyone was social distancing... mostly just coming back for family."

They also claimed the Governor in Florida is "in denial" about the seriousness of the situation, and pushing ahead with reopening despite a surge in cases.

However, they also stressed that they're going to take the 14-day self-quarantine very seriously after arriving here.

One of them noted: "We have family we're going to keep separated from, who will bring us food and anything we might need. We don't plan on leaving the house, or the yard just to walk around."

Dallas arrivals

Meanwhile, one of those flying in from Dallas called the 14-day rule "very necessary", and said she'd be following the advice as she's here for five weeks.

However, another passenger who flew in from Texas suggested the COVID-19 situation was "overblown".

He argued: "I personally don't know anyone or don't know anyone who knows anybody who has had it.

"The cases I read are very mild - they're younger people now, and there are very few hospitalisations as I understand it.

"Maybe we're getting the herd immunity, and the virus is maybe mutating to a perhaps less virulent form."

Another passenger said it was the cleanest plane she'd ever been on, with passengers allowed spread out and sit where they wanted.

She said she "probably shouldn't be here myself", but said she'd be following the self-quarantine advice, and had taken "extra precautions to be safe".

American Airlines confirmed to Barry that they are now resuming three weekly flights from Dallas to Dublin.

Meanwhile, the Department of Health here is continuing to tell people arriving into the State from overseas to restrict their movements for 14 days.

Main image via Dublin Airport

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