Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

10.11 17 Jul 2020


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The US will not be on the travel 'green list' and Britain is also "unlikely" to make the cut, the Foreign Affairs Minister has said.

The Government is set to publish the list of countries deemed safe to travel to on Monday.

Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney told The Pat Kenny Show that the list will not be particularly long for now.

US won't be on travel green list and UK 'unlikely' to make the cut - Coveney

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He said the list means people arriving here from those countries won't be asked to self-quarantine and restrict their movement for 14 days.

He explained: "This is not on the basis of politics - it's on the basis of epidemiological data and numbers, so we can compare Ireland to other countries.

"Then we can put people on a green list that we regard as representing no higher risk than Ireland represents.

"In other words, travelling to one of these countries wouldn't be any different to travelling to Kerry, Connemara or Donegal for your holidays."

Minister Coveney confirmed the US won't be on the list - saying there's "no question" that will be the case.

He said: "I think it's very unlikely our closest neighbour either will be under that threshold that we set.

"That's really unfortunate, because the two countries we would like to be opening up to in terms of international travel are the UK and US, given the integration between our economy and those two countries."

He said Ireland will be looking at data such as number of cases per 100,000 people when deciding the list - and stressed that the list won't be the end of the Government's actions in terms of travel.

He observed: "We are also looking at changing protocols in airport... working with airports to ensure there is a much more visible presence informing people of their obligations when they come to Ireland."

He also confirmed the Government will look at making COVID-19 testing available for those arriving here.

Elsewhere, Minister Coveney stressed that the number of people arriving here from the US is still low - less than 5% of what they usually are.

He suggested: "As you would have heard on many media outlets, when they're interviewed in the airport they understand they are expected to quarantine for 14 days - and the vast majority are planning for that."

Main image: File photo of Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney. Photo: Sasko Lazarov/RollingNews.ie

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