Irish travel advisory issued for Poland, Denmark and other countries

Ryanair announces it is to cancel all its scheduled services to and from Poland

Aer Lingus and Ryanair have moved to secure their business. File photograph: PA

Aer Lingus and Ryanair have moved to secure their business. File photograph: PA

 

The Department of Foreign Affairs on Saturday advised against all non-essential travel to Czech Republic, Cyprus, Denmark, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney has said.

This is in addition to earlier advice warning of non-essential travel to Spain, no travel to Italy and exercising caution when going to other EU countries.

Ryanair has announced it is to cancel all its scheduled services to and from Poland from midnight on Saturday until the end of March.

The move was made in response to the decision of the Polish Government to “lock down” the entire country to contain the spread of the Covid-19 virus,

Ryanair said all its flights including those operating under the Buzz and Lauda brands are to be grounded.

“We are contacting all affected customers by email to advise them of their options and we urge customers not to call us,” a company spokesman said.

“This is a fast-moving and complex situation and the safety and well-being of our people and customers is our main priority. We will continue to comply fully with all WHO and EASA guidelines and we will follow any travel restrictions that are imposed,” he added.

On behalf of the Ryanair Group he apologised “sincerely to all customers affected by these Government Restrictions in order to combat the Covid-19 virus.”

Meanwhile Aer Lingus and Ryanair have offered passengers the opportunity to change their bookings without incurring a change fee due to coronavirus.

The Aer Lingus concession applies to those who have flights booked between now and May 31st and is in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Passengers have until March 25th to change their bookings to a different date or route of their choice. Fare differences may apply.

Ryanair says it will waive its €35 flight change fee for customers who wish to change their travel plans due to the coronavirus outbreak. Passengers will still have to pay the difference in fares when changing a flight.

Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary has told passengers that had flights been cancelled last week they would have received an email on how to get a refund and a free move.

Mr O’Leary said every aircraft is being treated with hospital-grade disinfectant and that all aircraft are already fitted with high efficiency particulate arrestor filters, which remove particles in the air, down to the size of microscopic bacteria and virus clusters.

He added: “We hope these policies will reinforce your confidence so that you can book your flights with Ryanair as this Covid-19 crisis will pass and life will return to normal.”

Meanwhile student plans to travel to the United States during the summer on J1 visas have been thrown into doubt by a temporary ban.

US president Donald’s Trump declaration of a national emergency includes a 60-day suspension on J1 visas from now with the possibility of another 30-day suspension depending on the the progress of the virus.