Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

12.24 9 Aug 2020


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Officials are looking at ways to restrict non-essential travel from countries with high rates of COVID-19, the Health Minister has confirmed.

Stephen Donnelly said he's "concerned about high rates in some places".

It comes amid reports that all non-essential travel from countries like the US and Brazil could be banned under new plans..

The travel "red list" would include places with high infection rates of COVID-19, according to the Sunday Independent.

The paper reports there would be exemptions for Irish citizens return home, as well as for essential workers.

In a series of tweets today, Minister Donnelly confirmed his department is 'preparing options for Government' on how to restrict travel from countries outside the UK and EU with high rates of COVID-19.

He said: "These options will be finalised as soon as possible.

"While travel related cases here remain small, some countries are seeing a rapid rise in cases so the risk is increasing.

"Once proposals are finalised they will be presented to [Government] for discussion."

The Government is continuing to advise against non-essential travel to all countries, although there is no legal restriction on people travelling into or out of Ireland.

Anyone arriving here is legally required to fill out a form detailing where they will be self-isolating for two weeks.

A small number of European countries are included on the 'green list' of areas deemed safe to travel to with no need for two weeks of self-isolation.

However, five destinations - Cyprus, Gibraltar, Malta, Monaco and San Marino - were dropped from the list in recent days.

It leaves only Estonia, Finland, Greece, Greenland, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway and Slovak Republic on the current list.

Main image: File photo of Dublin Airport via DAA

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