There will be no countries eligible for Ireland’s Green List for international travel from Monday, the Department of Foreign Affairs has confirmed.
There were just four countries on the list after the last update a fortnight ago; however, all four are now set to be removed.
Cyprus, Finland, Latvia and Liechtenstein will remain on the list until Monday.
There will be no countries on the Green List with effect from Monday 12 Oct. Ireland continues to work with EU partners to finalise negotiations on coordinating travel within the Union (“EU traffic lights system”). pic.twitter.com/7YT6AT1Pg9
— Irish Foreign Ministry (@dfatirl) October 8, 2020
The system has been heavily criticised since it was introduced, with aviation experts warning that the threshold for inclusion was far too high.
After the last update, Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary pointed out to Newstalk that Liechtenstein “doesn't even have an airport” while travel expert Eoghan Corry warned that the criteria made it "beyond meaningless."
The Irish Green List requires countries to have fewer than 25 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people over two weeks.
According to the latest data from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre the 14-day rate in Ireland over the last two weeks was 124.4.
The Government has signalled its intention to sign up to the new ‘traffic light’ system for travel between EU states when it is approved by the EU Council of Ministers next week.
However, speaking at the Oireachtas COVID-19 Committee yesterday, the Transport Minister Eamon Ryan warned that it may take “some time” to implement it after it is agreed.
The system will see countries 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.
There will be no restrictions on countries designated green or amber.
Based on current numbers, Ireland will be designated red on both metrics; however, the new system is expected to see a testing regime replacing quarantine requirements for travellers from high-risk areas.
The EU Council of Ministers will vote on the new system next Tuesday.