Tourists, flights and Covid-19


Sir, – I keep hearing two arguments for letting tourists from the US travel here, despite surging numbers of cases in many of its states.

The first is that it would be impossible to enforce a ban and quarantine.

The second is that the sacrifice would be too great, were we to give up the large numbers of visitors who come here every year.

Perhaps on both fronts we should look at what is being done in Canada.

Readers may be interested to know that months ago Canada imposed (and will continue to impose until at least August 31st) a ban on all inward travel by all non-Canadians (with exceptions for immediate family, etc), as well as a strict 14-day quarantine, with penalties of up to $750,000 for those who violate it.

Readers may also be interested to know that this is despite a substantial cost: in 2019, while 2.4 million US or Canadian residents visited Ireland, over 13 million US citizens travelled to Canada. – Yours, etc,


Dublin 8.

Sir, – It is truly a stunning tribute to the attraction of Ireland as a visitor destination that planeloads of Americans are flying in to spend a fortnight sitting in a room here. – Yours, etc,


Dublin 9.

A chara, – The Government campaign for us to “staycation” is to be lauded in the national interest, but surely is being nullified by tourists, from countries with high rates of Covid-19 infection, being allowed to enter Ireland. We know that people are travelling around ignoring our quarantine regulations without consequence to themselves.

However, the consequences for Ireland could be devastating.

We do not want to go back to another lockdown so firm action is needed now. – Yours, etc,




Co Galway.

Sir, – Patsy McGarry (“US passengers fly into Dublin: ‘I’m here for six days. I guess I’ll have to stay inside’”, News, July 12th) interviewed a lady from Virginia who travelled to Ireland for six days.

While admitting she is going to have to stay inside for the duration of her sojourn, she went on to say, “I have friends here. I have family members here. They’ll meet me.”

The idea of “self-isolation”, “quarantine” or whichever phrase we wish to use is that you do not meet anyone else for this 14 days, the length of the incubation period of Covid-19.

How hard is that to understand?

If these Irish friends and family of hers do indeed meet this lady, are they then going to go into quarantine for 14 days?

“Advisories” are just that – advice; I agree with the Government advice regarding travel, face masks and so on. But for it to work, this advice needs to be mandatory, not optional, and it needs to be policed. – Yours, etc,




Co Wicklow.