A travel expert is calling on the government to provide greater clarity on whether or not people can travel abroad this summer.
Ireland’s restrictions on people returning from abroad from some countries are due to be lifted on July 9, with a list of those being drawn up.
However, the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) is advising people who have booked a holiday to cancel it over fears it could lead to a spike in COVID-19 cases here.
Eoghan Corry, Editor of Air and Travel Magazine, says government inaction would mean trouble for holidaymakers and that is not right to criticise Dr Tony Holohan for advising against travel.
Mr Corry says: “A lot of money in play and a lot of serious questions. But there is no doubt that the loser in all of this is the consumer.
“That’s why it is really important that somebody sits down at government level and says: ‘Either we are following the European advice and we are opening borders or we are not’.”
“It’s wrong to blame the CMO as he’s doing his job.”
Yesterday Dr Tony Holohan appealed to people with foreign holidays planned to cancel their flight and hotel bookings.
The National Public Health Emergency Team’s noticing a “worrying trend” of COVID-19 cases and new clusters.
An expert in diseases gave a similar opinion to Dr Tony Holohan to the Irish Examiner and said travelling abroad is too risky at the moment.
Professor Paddy Mallon, Professor of Microbial Diseases in St Vincent’s Hospital Dublin, said it is not only a risk to people who travel but also a risk to Ireland.
Professor Mallon warned that no matter how well Ireland tackles COVID-19, travellers could end up “importing” it back here.
“We are going to be looking at a resurgence in a number of cases. It is going to be driven by the reintroduction of the infection into the country from people bringing it into the country. This is perceived to be a major threat.”
Professor Mallon added: “If we could limit the impact of imported cases, we could keep on the trajectory that we are on for as long as we can.”