The Irish Hotels Federation (IHF) has called for an immediate review of the Government’s ‘green list’ travel policy for people coming into the country.

The 15 country list has been criticised as confusing, as it includes countries such as San Marino and Monaco, where it is impossible to fly direct from Ireland to.  Additionally, the Government has also stated that “the safest thing to do is not to travel”.

“The pandemic is not over and the public health advice remains the same,” said a spokesperson in a statement.

IHF President Elaina Fitzgerald Kane said: “Public health remains the key priority as we begin to reboot our economy, and this should go hand-in-hand with opening up travel in a safe manner. The current approach by the Government, however, is overly restrictive by any measure and risks causing unnecessary further damage to the economy and our prospects for recovery. As it stands, it acts more as a source of confusion for those travelling to Ireland.”

“This must be addressed urgently without delay. We cannot afford to take our eye off the ball on this given the potential economic impact for the country. We are calling on the Government to look at extending the ‘green list’ in line with the approach taken by our European partners. This should be supported by a comprehensive testing regime for visitors from countries not on the list. People who are healthy could be tested before travelling and provide verification that they do not pose a risk.  Ireland’s hospitality sector earns 75% of its income from overseas visitors and only 25% from the domestic market, come September the whole of the hospitality faces a cliff edge as the domestic market business tails off.”

“Most European countries now have very effective testing in place and this would be a good starting point for such a regime. This would help open up travel in a safe way aligned with public health policy.”

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