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Government travel advice "incoherent, contradictory and confused" - Darren O'Rourke TD

15 July, 2020 - by Darren O’Rourke, Darren O Rourke TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Transport Darren O’Rourke TD has said that the government's proposal to announce a ‘green list’ of countries deemed safe to travel to on 20th July, while retaining current advice against all non-essential foreign travel would be a continuation of an “incoherent, contradictory and confused” message.

He said the current regime is “the worst of all worlds”. It serves neither the aviation industry, the travel and tourism industry, prospective travellers or the general public well.

Teachta O'Rourke said.

“People have been very disciplined in their adherence to public health advice relating to foreign travel, and this has come at considerable expense. Flights and holidays booked well in advance have been forgone, with thousands of euros lost.  

“It appears now that a further deadline will come and go without a coherent plan for foreign travel. The suggestion that a ‘green list’ will be published on 20th July, but advice against all non-essential foreign travel will remain in place makes absolutely no sense. This approach will only serve to extend the contradictory and confused messages that people have had to live with for the last two months. It is completely unacceptable.

“We believe there should be a graduated response to the re-opening of foreign travel at an appropriate time - subject to public health advice. In addition to a ‘green list’, we believe there should be a ‘red list’ published, and that a comprehensive regime of airport checks and controls should be in place, reflective of the Covid-19 profile of the country of departure.

“Furthermore, protections must be put in place for consumers who have holidays booked to areas where travel is advised against; including those areas that may be re-categorised as the virus profile changes.

“Leaving it up to the airlines is not acceptable, given how they have treated consumers to date.

“People should be entitled to refunds from their airlines or travel insurance companies if public health advice changes and they are no longer advised to travel to a certain country due to Covid-19.”

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