The Irish Travel Agents Association (ITAA) has called on the Government and the NPHET (National Public Health Emergency Team) to move forward on lifting travel restrictions to allow travel to resume to certain countries within the EU from 15 June. The ITAA is disappointed that there is no indication of travel restrictions being eased until 29 June, despite positive data and metrics from the Chief Medical Officer.
Pat Dawson, ITAA Chief Executive, said: “There is no basis for maintaining the advice against travel when every other industry is opening up in Ireland. The travel sector has been hit the hardest by the Covid-19 pandemic, and we are concerned that we will be the last industry to get a restart date. This delay easing travel restrictions will further hurt our industry, as Irish customers will be forced to wait to book their holidays. This will drastically slow the recovery of the Irish travel sector. The rest of the EU are looking at opening up their borders for international travel, but the Irish Government appear to be hesitating and causing a delay in returning to normal economic activity. Inbound and outbound travel goes hand in hand, and by easing travel restrictions within the EU this week we could work to repair some of the damage done by Covid-19 to the Irish travel sector.
“The Taoiseach has previously discussed the possibility of air travel resuming this summer, initially through the use of ‘air bridges’ with countries that are deemed to have the Covid-19 pandemic under control. We welcome the idea of these air bridges, and have been discussing this as an option with a number of National Tourist Boards from other countries. Naturally, the safety and wellbeing of our customers our top priority, however the introduction of air bridges would allow for safe, controlled travel in and out of Ireland and would help to revive the Irish travel sector.”