Flights home from abroad are not necessarily essential, says Taoiseach
Micheál Martin said that Christmas flights home to Ireland should not always be deemed "essential", and discussed the potential of extending Level 5 restrictions on 1 December.
Some flights home to Ireland from abroad are not necessarily "essential travel", according to Taoiseach Micheál Martin.
In an interview with Virgin Media on Friday, Martin discussed all things Covid-19, including the potential of extending the Level 5 restrictions past 1 December.
He said: "We do want to exit Level 5 on 1 December. It's important because people have made sacrifices, and six weeks is a long period... A lot of the work we've been doing will inform how we will propose to exit Level 5."
Martin refused to say whether Ireland will definitely be able to leave Level 5 on 1 December, but he did stress that it was the objective of the government to do so.
He then said that it is crucial that Ireland has a "safe Christmas", highlighting that "it will not be a normal Christmas", but that it can be an enjoyable one.
Martin said that he can't see crowds gathering at Christmas time, as "crowds spread the virus".
He also stressed that despite safety restrictions being in place, Gardaí won't be knocking on doors on Christmas Eve.
Speaking about flights home from abroad, he said that guidance will be given by the end of the month, but also said that some trips home should be considered more essential than others.
He also said that a Covid-19 vaccine could be cleared for use by the end of the year in Ireland, though no official dates were proposed by An Taoiseach.