Anyone planning on cancelling their travel plans due to the new rules on COVID testing should “sit back and sleep on it,” according to travel expert Eoghan Corry.
From Friday everyone travelling into Ireland from overseas will need to show a negative or not detected COVID test – regardless of vaccine status.
Antigen tests carried out by a professional in the 48 hours before arrival in Ireland are accepted. PCR tests can be carried out in the 72 hours before arrival.
The measures apply to people travelling in from everywhere, including Britain.
This evening, The Hard Shoulder heard from a range of people who are now planning to cancel their holiday plans for fear of getting stuck abroad – but Travel Extra Editor Eoghan Corry said people shouldn’t be too hasty.
“We are pretty much reverting to the measures that were there before July with the important addition that an antigen test is now recognised,” he said.
“The antigen test is not very expensive. When people are saying they are cancelling because it is now required to get the antigen before they return – sit back and sleep on it.
“Weigh up the benefits of taking the trip versus the cost of the antigen before we start cancelling everything – it is not the biggest deal in the world.”
He said there were already big penalties in place for anyone who gets on a plane with COVID symptoms – so the need for a test doesn’t change a lot in terms of travel.
“Nearly all the insurance companies have policies that cover your 14-day extended stay should you have to delay your return home,” he said.
“Before we cancel everything work it out. The antigen test is not as expensive as the PCR that is a bit of progress.”
Mr Corry said Ireland signed up to the new EU travel system last July and said it is “absolutely shocking” that the Government is turning its back on the system “at the first hurdle”.
“It is a bit of a mess,” he said.
“There are a lot of people with time running out on their vouchers or all the rescheduled trips that started some time last year and here they are looking for another reschedule of a reschedule of a reschedule.
“There is also a major question here about the message this sends out from Ireland to the rest of the world that we are fragile on travel.
“It took a long time to implement those measures in July that got us moving again. There is an emergency brake system as part of that. It was designed for arrivals into the EU from other countries. We have decided to implement restrictions on travel within the EU – it is pretty much against the spirit of what was agreed if not the letter of the law.
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