Half of arrivals into Ireland this week were returning from holidays, says Taoiseach 1 month ago

Half of arrivals into Ireland this week were returning from holidays, says Taoiseach

Anger greeted the arrival of holidaymakers back to Dublin airport this week.

Nearly half of people arriving in Ireland this week were returning from their holidays, Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said.

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Speaking at a parliamentary party meeting on Wednesday night, as reported by RTÉ News, the Taoiseach said that of the 800 people who came into the country through airports, 542 people were Irish and 397 were returning from holidays.

Martin told TDs and Senators that the government is considering adding more countries to the mandatory quarantine list. The updated list now includes South Africa and Brazil.

Martin's comments come after an RTÉ Prime Time report from Dublin Airport earlier this week showed holidaymakers returning to Ireland, scenes which were greeted with much anger online.

Footage from the programme showed passengers with large suitcases at Dublin airport, having just arrived from Lanzarote. As a result of footage from the show, 'Lanzarote' was trending on Twitter in Ireland on Tuesday night.

Speaking on RTÉ Prime Time on the night, Labour Party leader Alan Kelly called the government's travel restrictions "half-baked", and said that stronger measures "have to be put in".

Kelly said: "Is it really credible to think that a flight load of people who actually made the decision to go out to Lanzarote are actually going to come home and quarantine in their houses?

"The idea that they'd actually go to Lanzarote in the first place says a lot... This is half-baked. This is not going to work. We're going to have to have mandatory quarantine in this country."

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"These [new] variants are on tour. They're on tour around the world. We're as likely to get somebody coming in and spreading this variant from Lanzarote, Lisbon and London as we are from Brazil or South Africa."