Michael Staines
Michael Staines

16.41 7 Oct 2020


Share this article


The Minister for Transport has admitted that Ireland’s Green List for international travel is not working.

Eamon Ryan told the Oireachtas COVID-19 Committee today that the Government intends to broadly support the new European ‘traffic light’ system for travel between EU states.

He warned however, that even if the plan is agreed at EU level next week, it may take “some time” to come into force.

Advertisement

“The first thing to acknowledge is that the current Green List is not working because, as I said, just about every country we are connected to is outside the parameters of what would apply,” he said.

“Even the much-higher parameters which we applied on September 8th, which were a multiple of what would have been applied in early July are now no longer valid.

“So, it is not working and we do have to change our approach.”

Eamon Ryan Dublin restrictions Green Party leader Eamon Ryan arriving for Cabinet at Dublin Castle, 04-08-2020. Image: Sam Boal/RollingNews

There are currently just four countries on Ireland’s Green List – Cyprus, Finland, Latvia and Liechtenstein.

The Government has signalled its intention to join the EU Traffic Light system after it is agreed at the EU Council of Ministers on October 13th.

The system will see designated, green, orange or red, depending on two metrics - the number of new cases per 100,000 people over a two-week period and the positivity rate of their COVID testing.

Countries with a 14-day rate above 50 and a positivity rate above 3% would be designated red.

Ireland’s 14-day rate is currently 116.4 and our positivity rate over the last seven days is 4%; however, the system would see a testing regime replacing quarantine requirements for travellers from high-risk areas.

Minister Ryan said the Government will need a “period of time” to put in place the enforcement measures needed to safely run the new system.

Ryanair planes at Dublin Airport Aer Lingus and Ryanair planes at Dublin Airport today, 14-04-2020. Image: Leon Farrell / RollingNews

Meanwhile, the DAA, which runs both Dublin and Cork Airports, told the committee it has developed capacity to run 15,000 pre-departure COVID tests on passengers every day – without impacting on Ireland’s health system.

Aer Lingus CEO Seán Doyle said the airline was ready and waiting for the new testing system to be approved adding that it now “just needs the Government to unblock this.”

Ryanair CEO Eddie Wilson said tens of thousands of jobs will be put at risk if the EU system is not fully adopted without delay.

He said the airline will be forced to close its bases at Cork and Shannon if the EU approach is not introduced.

“We now have a second chance and we should get ahead and save the jobs we have here,” he said.

“140,000 jobs in aviation and 325,000 jobs in tourism. If we don’t get those decision now, not only will this winter be lost and will those bases go, next summer will be devastating for this country in terms of tourism and connectivity.”

The EU will vote on the new system next Tuesday.


Share this article


Read more about

Aer Lingus Airport Eamon Ryuan Green List International Travel Ryanair

Most Popular

Live: Title

Now playing

00:00:00 / 00:00:00
Added to queue
Removed from queue

On Air

Share

Share


Up next

Episode title
Show
Duration

You currently have no podcasts in your queue.

Go to podcasts

On Air

Off The Ball

Off The Ball

19:00-22:00

Share

Up next

SPLANC

SPLANC

22:00-00:00

Share

BEST OF NEWSTALK

BEST OF NEWSTALK

00:00-07:00

Share

TEAM 33

TEAM 33

07:00-08:00

Share

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

08:00-09:00

Share

THE HOME SHOW WITH SINEAD RYAN

THE HOME SHOW WITH SINEAD RYAN

09:00-10:00

Share

DOWN TO BUSINESS WITH BOBBY KE...

DOWN TO BUSINESS WITH BOBBY KERR

10:00-12:00

Share

FUTUREPROOF WITH JONATHAN MCCR...

FUTUREPROOF WITH JONATHAN MCCREA

12:00-13:00

Share

OFF THE BALL

OFF THE BALL

13:00-17:00

Share

TECH TALK WITH JESS KELLY

TECH TALK WITH JESS KELLY

17:00-18:00

Share

SCREENTIME WITH JOHN FARDY

SCREENTIME WITH JOHN FARDY

18:00-19:00

Share

SOUNDSCAPE

SOUNDSCAPE

19:00-20:00

Share

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

20:00-21:00

Share

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

Share on