Fianna Fáil TD calls for immediate lifting of inter-county travel ban


Jack Quann
Jack Quann

09.40 27 Apr 2021


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A Fianna Fáil Minister of State says the inter-county travel ban should be lifted immediately.

The five-kilometre travel limit was lifted two weeks ago, after being in place for more than three months.

It was replaced with a limit to travel within your own county, or 20 kilometres from your home.

But Niall Collins told Newstalk Breakfast the restrictions do not make sense.

"This is an issue which I've flagged at a number of meetings of the Fianna Fáil parliamentary party.

"I suppose I'm reflecting what the public, particularly here in Limerick, are saying to me.

"They are finding it hugely frustrating that they can't travel inter-county for various activities - but primarily to visit relatives they haven't seen in a long, long time.

"I understand that there's risks associated with the unwinding of the restrictions... but the prohibiting of people travelling outside of counties, there's a lot of anomalies with it also."

He said this impacts certain outdoor activities, such as surfing.

"I had a number of young people on to me yesterday and they're hugely into surfing, and they can't travel to any of the destination surfing spots along the coast of Kerry or Clare.

"These are absolutely safe activities to partake in".

Visiting relatives

He also said the current approach means those living in more remote areas have less options.

Asked about the increased risk of infection with increased travel, he said: "I just have to reflect some of my own personal views and what people are saying to me.

"I don't have people contacting me who are hugely lobbying for the re-opening of pubs, restaurants or indeed outdoor dining.

"But people are very conscious of the outdoor activities, of particularly being able to travel inter-county to visit relatives - grannys, grandparents - people who they haven't seen in a long, long time.

"These are the issues during May and June - which are our peak summer months, the longest days in the year - when people want to engage in outdoor activities.

"And I think it's just about giving people greater latitude and choice".

But Deputy Collins said he was not privy to Cabinet decisions on when travel restrictions would be lifted.

"I feel leaving it out to the backend of July, a lot of the summer will have gone at that stage.

"So the sooner the better, for all the right reasons".

Fianna Fáil TD calls for immediate lifting of inter-county travel ban

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

   

Main image: Fianna Fail's Niall Collins speaking to the media at Leinster House in February 2020. Picture by: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

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