Travel agents inclusion under CRSS 'welcome', but must be extended beyond Levels 4 and 5 - Imelda Munster TD
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Tourism, Imelda Munster TD, has today welcomed the clarification that travel agents will be eligible for support under the Covid Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS) during Level 4 and Level 5 restrictions.
However, the Louth TD has written to the Tánaiste and the Minster for Tourism to ask that the eligibility for travel agents for CRSS to be extended to include all levels of Covid restrictions, given that they have had effectively no income since March .
Earlier today Teachta Munster asked the Tánaiste in the Dáil to provide clarity as there had been conflicting information coming from government Ministers since the scheme was announced in Budget 2021.
Teachta Munster said:
“I welcome this clarification – the confusion in the last week or so has caused significant worry for travel agents, and I am happy that it has been clarified today that they are eligible for CRSS.
“Travel agents are among the very hardest hit during this pandemic. They have had to refund almost all income received for bookings for 2020 and they have had minimal income since the beginning of the pandemic.
“Travel agents have effectively been under Level 5 restrictions since March, and for them there is no end in sight as their businesses will continue to be affected well into next year due to travel restrictions. Therefore we need to ensure that they are eligible for state supports during the coming months.
“The sector has been extremely let down since March due to government inaction, and it’s about time that changed.
“There are 220 travel agency outlets in this state, and they employ 3,500 staff. These jobs must be protected.
“I have written to the Tánaiste and to the Minister for Tourism, Catherine Martin TD asking that they consider extending eligibility beyond Levels 4 and 5 for travel agents, given the extreme hardships they have endured in 2020.”