5,200 Irish people returned from holiday during a week in January

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5,200 Irish People Returned From Holiday During A Week In January 5,200 Irish People Returned From Holiday During A Week In January
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Digital Desk Staff

More than 5,200 Irish residents that arrived into Dublin Airport over the course of a week starting at the end of January said they had been on holidays, despite the restrictions on non-essential international travel.

As The Irish Times reports, senior Government official Liz Canavan said this represented two-thirds of the Irish people who returned to the country that week.

Ms Canavan, the Assistant Secretary General of the Department of the Taoiseach, warned that non-essential overseas travel is a breach of Level 5 Covid-19 restrictions and added it was: “important that everyone understands and respects that.”

It comes as the Government seeks to tighten restrictions on international travel. In all, 13,606 passengers arrived into Dublin from January 30th to February 5th.

A total of 8,218 were Irish residents and of those 5,241 stated that they were returning from a holiday or visit abroad.

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This represents 63.8 per cent or almost two-thirds of all Irish residents who arrived into Dublin Airport that week.

Breach of restrictions

Ms Canavan said overall passenger numbers are below three per cent of normal levels for this time of year but expressed concern at the proportion of Irish people who had been on holidays in breach of restrictions.

She added: “While we all would love and need a holiday, now is not the time to travel.

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“Unless you are travelling for a specific essential purpose, please stay at home and follow the guidance.”

She listed what she described as “a very significant range of measures” that have been taken on travel.

These include an increase in the fine for non-essential overseas travel from €100 to €500, with Ms Canavan adding that gardaí were detecting and fining people.

Visa-free travel from Brazil and South Africa — where there are new variants of the virus — have been suspended and issuing of visas, other than in exceptional circumstances, has also been suspended.

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