Ryan raises suspicions State may back off from fully applying EU air travel system

Ryanair chief says moving to ‘traffic light’ system crucial for Cork and Shannon airports

Ryanair chief executive, Eddie Wilson, said he was disappointed at the Minister’s remarks. Photograph: Garrett White

Ryanair chief executive, Eddie Wilson, said he was disappointed at the Minister’s remarks. Photograph: Garrett White

 

They may have fallen out in the media, but the Government still looks unwilling to stray far from the National Public Health Emergency Team’s advice when it comes to travel. The guidelines, which ask anyone arriving here from a country not on the State’s green list to restrict their movements for two weeks, have left the aviation and tourism sectors frustrated beyond words.

Eamon Ryan, Minister for Transport, confirmed to the Oireachtas Transport Committee on Wednesday that the Government would adopt the EU’s proposed Covid-19 air travel system, meant to do away with quarantines, once it is implemented next week.

However, he added the caveat that public health remained devolved to member states, indicating that adoption might not be as wholehearted as the industry hopes.

The EU’s “traffic light” system grades regions in the bloc as green, amber or red, according to the risk of infection in each. Core to it is the principle that those from lower risk green and orange areas can move freely. Those from red locations may need tests confirming they are virus-free to do the same.

So far, so simple, but the Minister’s references to autonomy on public health raised suspicions that that the Republic could back off from applying this fully. Ryanair chief executive, Eddie Wilson, said he was disappointed at the Minister’s remarks.

Green list

He added that he was not optimistic for the prospects of the airline’s bases at Cork and Shannon airports, which the carrier has said may have to close for the winter if the new system is not adopted.

At the same time, it looks like the Government will drop all the EU27 nations from its green list, which it will publish today and apply from Monday. Trade with these countries will become more important to Irish people’s livelihoods after the UK leaves the bloc in 12 weeks’ time. Cutting all of them from our safe travel list hardly ranks as a smart move.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.