Ireland looks set to adopt a totally new approach to international travel from next week.
Announcing the new five-level ‘Living with COVID’ plan this morning, the Taoiseach Micheál Martin said Ireland would ‘broadly support’ the European Commission’s proposal for travel across the bloc.
The Commission’s proposal will see a new ‘traffic light’ system introduced with regions designated, green, orange or red, depending on the number of new cases per 100,000 people over a two-week period.
The system is expected to be introduced at a meeting of the EU General Affairs Council on October 13th.
Traffic light travel
However, Ireland is likely to open up travel to countries that would be designated green, based on current figures, from Monday.
The European Commission system will be based on data from the European Centre for Disease Control and will be updated weekly.
- Countries with a 14-day cumulative rate of 25 per 100,000 or less will be added to the green list.
- Countries with a 14-day cumulative rate of 50 per 100,000 or less will be designated as orange.
- All other countries will be designated as red.
Based on current figures, countries like Spain, France, Croatia and Hungary would be red zones, with the rest of the bloc largely open for travel.
However, Ireland’s current 14-day rate sits at 50.04 – meaning that, if things do not improve, the country will also find itself designated as a red zone.
The current European Commission proposal would see no restrictions on travellers arriving from green or orange countries.
Meanwhile, countries would be free to choose what restrictions to place on people arriving from red countries – with quarantines and/or testing on the cards.
Larger countries will end up with different colours for different regions and the Commission has said the restrictions should be the same for travellers from all red zones, whether domestic or international.