KCLR NewsNews & Sport

Concerns about a surge in Covid-19 cases as people look to travel abroad again with restrictions eased

Philip Nolan from the NPHET says people need to ask themselves if it's worth it

People need to decide between luxury and necessity when it comes to foreign travel, according to a leading expert.

There are concerns about a surge in new cases due to people travelling abroad as restrictions ease over the coming weeks.

Professor Philip Nolan from the National Public Health Emergency Team says people need to ask themselves if travel is worth it:

He said “If I decide or you decide that we want an international holiday, which is an utterly different matter than somebody who wants to visit their family in soon or Italy or Ireland, really if that carries the risk of transmitting the virus back into Ireland or from Ireland to another county, we really need to think about it, do we really need to do that?”.

Meanwhile the new Health Minister Stephen Donnelly says we’ve got to find the right balance between public health and the economy in terms of foreign travel.

The government is publishing a green list next week of countries people can travel to from Ireland where the 14 day quarantine will not apply.

In a report released today from the Central Statistics Office, overseas travel to and from Ireland fell by more than 98 per cent last month, compared to May 2019.

There were just 28,300 arrivals last month – with 1.8 million a year earlier.

These latest figures show the impact Covid-19 has had on travel.

They show that, in May 2019, there were 1.8 million arrivals into Ireland – and the same in the other direction.

There were 98% fewer journeys last month.

Just 28,300 came into the country – with two thirds coming by air.

59% of people came from Britain.

36,300 people departed Ireland last month – with 68 per cent leaving by air and 32 per cent by sea.

More than half of the people went to Britain.