Non-essential air travel

Sir, – Surely one of the most intimate gatherings of strangers happens on an airplane where social distancing is all but impossible. People sit shoulder to shoulder for four to five hours. They brush past each other on the way to or from the toilet.

Windows cannot be opened. The air in a plane is far from fresh, as it has to be recirculated, and it is common for travellers to end up with a cold or cough at the end of a plane flight, and that is in normal conditions.

Just getting on a plane flies in the face of all the recommendations issued recently on safe behaviour during this pandemic. So what madness is it not to prevent non-essential flying, as Prof Tomás Ryan points out in his article "Risk-to-gain ratio for foreign travel is dangerously high" (Opinion & Analysis, July 2nd).

The people of Ireland have sacrificed many aspects of daily living and obeyed Government regulations during the pandemic. A debate still goes on regarding a safe way for schools to reopen in September.


The summer months give us an opportunity to achieve an island free of Covid-19.

Is it too much to ask people to do without their foreign summer holiday for the greater good of the nation and simultaneously support the Irish hospitality sector? – Yours, etc,



Dublin 9.