Taskforce recommends lifting international travel restrictions and quarantine requirements by 1 July
The taskforce said that both measures are considered "urgent" and require the "immediate attention of the Minister and the Government".
A special taskforce for the recovery of the aviation industry in Ireland has recommended that international travel restrictions and quarantine requirements for airline passengers entering Ireland overseas be lifted by next Wednesday (1 July).
The Aviation Recovery Taskforce, which draws on industry leaders and expertise and was formed on 10 June, has submitted an interim report to the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport ahead of its final report, which is due on 10 July.
The reason for the interim report, the taskforce said, was “because it had identified a small number of measures and decisions which it considered urgent and needing the immediate attention of the Minister and the Government”.
Included in those measures are the following four recommendations:
- Begin to lift international travel restrictions by 1 July.
- Lift the quarantine requirement on incoming airline passengers by 1 July.
- To support the first two measures, finalise and implement in full a national Code of Practice for Safe Air Travel which applies the aviation health and safety protocols developed by the European Centre for Disease Control and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).
- In order to mitigate large-scale redundancies and job losses, confirm continuation of existing financial support measures, including, in particular, the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme to support employment where possible.
The airline industry has been impacted significantly by the onset of Covid-19 in Ireland and beyond and government measures regarding travel in and out of the country have been the subject of criticism from figures in the airline industry. Michael O'Leary of Ryanair has been particularly vocal and has repeatedly voiced his opposition to the quarantine measures.
Currently, the government advises against all non-essential travel overseas from Ireland, while passengers arriving into the country are asked to fill out a passenger locator form and self-isolate for a 14-day period.
On receiving the interim report, Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Shane Ross said: “I welcome the publication of the Interim Report of the Aviation Recovery Taskforce and commend the members for the sense of urgency they have brought to the challenge of identifying proposals to support the recovery of a critical sector of our economy.
“I note there will be a final report in the coming weeks, and I look forward to receiving that, which I understand will contain further proposals focused on what needs to be done over the next number of years.
“Regarding the interim report, it very succinctly captures the huge importance of the sector to the Irish economy, and it very clearly sets out the case for taking steps to be taken to begin opening up to international travel sooner rather than later.
“There are of course important public health issues to be considered, which the report acknowledges, and I will give the matters my priority attention and ensure that they are considered as a matter of urgency by the government.”