EU traffic light system comes into place for Ireland today

Eu Traffic Light System Comes Into Place For Ireland Today Eu Traffic Light System Comes Into Place For Ireland Today
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Digital Desk Staff

The European-wide traffic light travel system to deal with Covid-19 comes into place from this morning with the majority of areas in red.

Greenland is the only area within the green categorisation, while parts of Greece, Norway and Finland are in orange which means arrivals can skip quarantine if they test negative for the virus three days before coming to Ireland.

Every other area is red, meaning they must complete 14-days of isolation, which can only be stopped if there is a negative test five days after coming into a country.

However, infectious disease specialist Professor Sam McConkey from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) believes Ireland could move to status orange as early as next week.

"We are actually on the way down and we are coming out of this. We have restricted our movements very widely for not just the past two weeks in Level 5, but in Level 3 as well.


"I am really confident that we are heading for orange and I see that Crete is heading for orange as well."

Professor McConkey joked that Irish people will be traveling to Crete for the Christmas, but as he said he is hoping we can use the new framework to safely travel throughout Europe.

Entry restrictions

As the Government outlines, the new system is intended to bring greater consistency and transparency across Europe.

In line with the EU Recommendation, there will be no entry restrictions on travellers from green regions.

Each Member State will decide what entry restrictions or requirements it applies for travellers from red, orange and grey regions

They said that that restrictions are likely to change over time and their website will gradually provide more information as it becomes available.

In terms of the traffic light system itself, Green countries are those that have a 14 day incidence rate lower than 25 cases per 100,000 and a test positivity rate below 4 per cent,

Orange countries are those that have a 14 day incidence rate lower than 50 cases per 100,000 but the test positivity rate is 4 per cent or higher or, if the 14-day incidence rate is between 25 and 150 cases per 100, 000 and the test positivity rate is below 4 per cent.

Finally, red countries are those with a 14-day incidence rate with 50 cases per 100,000 or higher with a test positivity rate of 4 per cent or higher or if the 14-day incidence rate is higher than 150 cases per 100 000.

In a statement from Aer Lingus today, the airline welcomed the introduction of the new system saying it was a "positive initial step towards facilitating increased safe international travel".

"Aer Lingus also welcomes the exemption for passengers with an essential function from the requirement to undergo restricted movement or testing while exercising this essential function and notes that this includes critical occupations, students and persons travelling for imperative family or business reasons.

"This exemption will allow passengers with an essential function to travel without restriction.

"The fortnightly review process should over time lead to a streamlining of the processes and allow a meaningful increase in safe international travel."

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