The Government’s updated Green List for international travel is “beyond meaningless,” according to a travel expert.
Just four countries are included on the updated list which will come into force from tomorrow – Cyprus, Finland, Latvia and Lichtenstein.
Germany, Lithuania, Poland and Iceland are all set to be removed.
On Newstalk Breakfast with Seán Defoe this morning, travel expert Eoghan Corry said there is only one flight from Dublin to any of the remaining countries this weekend.
“It is beyond meaningless,” he said. “One of the countries does not have flights to Ireland, the principality of Lichtenstein.
“Let’s put this in context. There are just under 100 flights out of Dublin today and the same in the other direction. Not one of those is to a green list country.
“Over the weekend, 300 flights and I think the only one to a Green List country is the Paphos flight from Ryanair. That is 300 out, 300 in by the way.”
“Nothing less than contempt”
He said 15,000 people are still travelling through Dublin Airport each day in spite of the restrictions.
“We have a Green List with four countries on it that bears no relationship to what is actually happening in travel,” he said.
“Where it is affecting is business travel. Machines becoming un-serviced and people who want to do the right thing left disconnected with their families through Europe.
“It is a situation where people in the business world are being treated with nothing less than contempt by the Irish travel policy which is very different from what is happening in the rest of Europe.”
He said the Government’s threshold for inclusion on the Green List is “way too low.”
He explained that the upcoming European Centres for Disease Control traffic light system will involve three different metrics – cases per 100,000, the testing positivity rate and the different regions within countries.
He said the Government appears to cherry-picking the bits of the plan that will allow to have as strict a system as possible.
“I think the Irish Government’s entire policy has been to try and prevent travel,” he said.
“They have latched on to a little bit of the EU policy to say, ‘how is this going to serve the goal here which is preventing travel, stopping travel, rather than trying to align to it with any sort of spirit of keeping border open and keeping the economy moving – which is what the EU has been trying to do with great difficulty because the rates are going up all over Europe.”
It comes after the Ryanar CEO Michael O’Leary said the updated list represents “more incredible mismanagement” from the Government.
He questioned whether the Transport Minister Eamon Ryan "expects us all to cycle to Liechtenstein," noting that the Principality “doesn’t even have an airport.”
You can listen back to Mr Corry's interview with Seán Defoe here: