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Thousands of people to travel through airports as travel restrictions lift

Travellers from other countries will not have to quarantine if they have valid proof that they are fully vaccinated or recovered from Covid-19.

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Thousands of tourists are expected to flock through Dublin airport as restrictions are lifted (Brian Lawless/PA)

Thousands of tourists are expected to flock through Dublin airport as restrictions are lifted (Brian Lawless/PA)

Thousands of tourists are expected to flock through Dublin airport as restrictions are lifted (Brian Lawless/PA)

Thousands of holidaymakers will pass through Irish airports on Monday as travel restrictions in and out of the country are lifted.

Ireland has implemented the EU Covid Certificate, allowing people who are fully vaccinated to travel freely.

The certificate has been in place in other EU countries since July 1.

The lifting of restrictions on travel will see thousands of people going on holidays while others will travel back to Ireland to visit family and friends.

From Monday, it is possible to travel to Ireland from countries within the EU, Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway and Switzerland with no requirement to quarantine if the traveller has valid proof of being fully vaccinated, having recovered from Covid-19 or have had a negative PCR test in the last 72 hours.

The Government has advised people who are not vaccinated to avoid high-risk activities, including international travel.

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Travellers coming from other countries, including Great Britain, will not have to quarantine if they have valid proof that they are fully vaccinated or recovered from Covid-19.

Those who travel on the basis of a negative PCR test will have to self-quarantine but this can be ended if they receive a second negative PCR test taken from day five.

More than 1.1 million Covid certificates have been emailed to people in Ireland and in excess of 600,000 have been posted.

A call centre to deal with queries relating to the EU Digital Certificate was fully operational from today.

While it is overseen by the Department of Health, it is run on a day-to-day basis by a private firm.

Since going live earlier on Monday, people have reported lengthy delays in reaching an operator.

Hildegarde Naughton, Minister of State, said there have been issues with the helplines.

“I can assure you that Government is working very hard in order to get that system back up and running,” she added.

“This was one ask of the aviation travel sector, that we can reopen international travel as safely ass possible, adhering to all public health guidance.

“I would hope that helpline will be up and running again.

“We are continuing to engage with the aviation sector.

“We are continuing to review and assess what is needed in the aviation sector.

“It’s one of the hardest hit sectors and part of our economic recovery plan, there is specific mention for supports for he aviation sector,

“Their number one ask was to reopen international travel and do so as safely as possible.”

Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris said the Government will be constantly assessing rules around international travel.

We are working tirelessly to restore the vital connectivity that Ireland has lostDalton Philips, DAA chief executive

Mr Harris was asked about England’s so-called “freedom day”, where most legal restrictions have now abolished, and whether the relaxation of travel from Great Britain to Ireland will be reviewed.

“We will be constantly working with public health and assessing what is needed in relation to international travel where extra measures may need to be put in place but for today, we are saying if you are fully vaccinated or fully recovered, you can come here form the UK and travel into Ireland,” Mr Harris added.

DAA (Dublin Airport Authority) chief executive Dalton Philips said: “Today is a hugely exciting and much-anticipated day as Ireland fully reopens for international travel.

“Our operational readiness team, encompassing every department across both airports, has been planning extensively for this day so that all our customers have as safe and as pleasant an experience when travelling through our airports.

“The global pandemic has taken an enormous toll and people are looking forward to reconnecting with family and friends overseas who they haven’t seen for almost a year and a half.

“We have been waiting patiently for international travel to resume and it is wonderful to see customers coming through the doors of our terminals again for leisure and business travel.

“There is a great buzz and air of excited anticipation at our airports.

“We have missed our passengers, our airlines have missed them and our business partners have missed them.”

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Aer Lingus will operate 66 flights on Monday

Aer Lingus will operate 66 flights on Monday

PA

Aer Lingus will operate 66 flights on Monday

Covid-19 has had a crippling effect on every aspect of the travel and tourism sector.

“Dublin and Cork Airports have experienced a loss of over 43 million passengers in the past 16 months,” Mr Philips added.

“We are working tirelessly to restore the vital connectivity that Ireland has lost during that time.”

Passengers are being advised to arrive at the airport at least two hours for European flights, and three hours for US travel.

It comes as nearly 80% of the adult population have received a first dose of Covid-19 vaccine.

Mark Mills from Letterkenny in Co Donegal is travelling to Bordeaux in France to visit family members.

He received his EU Digital Certificate in an email.

“We just had to apply it to the Covid tracker so we now have it nice and easy on our phones,” he said.

“We are on our way to Bordeaux.

“We originally booked with Ryanair but that was cancelled.

“We rebooked with Aer Lingus and that was cancelled as well and eventually got on to KLM to travel through Amsterdam and then on to France.

“It’s going to be great.

“We are going to see our family.”

Mark, who has been working from home since the pandemic, said he has missed seeing family and friends.

He is travelling with his wife Isabelle and daughter Kira.

Isabelle received the EU certificate on Monday, a process she said was “very fast”.

Kira received a negative PCR test before she was allowed to travel.

“The test isn’t pleasant but it was fast,” she added.

Sisters Maya, Ciara and Sinead Olonargian are travelling to Munich to visit family.

Maya said they are looking forward to a holiday after a “boring” six months in lockdown.

They received their EU Digital Certificate after undergoing PCR tests.

Maya said: “I got my vaccination this but it was too late to travel on.

“There are too many people who want the vaccine but not enough supply.”

Sinead said: “It has been almost two years since I was on an airplane.

“We are are excited to see our family, and our granny.”


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