The number of overseas passengers travelling to and from Ireland throughout the year dropped by 76% compared to last year, latest figures show.
Statistics show that from January to October this year more than four million overseas passengers travelled to and from Ireland.
This compares to more than 17 million overseas passengers in the same period in 2019.
The air and sea travel figures were published by the Central Statistics Office (CSO).
Last month 160,900 overseas passengers arrived in Ireland, compared to 254,400 in September, a decrease of 36.8%.
In October 163,300 overseas passengers departed Ireland, compared to 236,700 in September, a decrease of 31%.
The October 2020 statistics show that continental routes contributed most to the passenger traffic.
Statistician Gregg Patrick said: “The Air and Sea Travel Statistics for October 2020 show a substantial decrease in overseas travel compared to the preceding month.
“Some 91,000 passengers arrived on continental routes and 87,900 passengers departed on continental routes.
“By way of contrast, 56,400 passengers arrived on cross-channel routes and 62,500 passengers departed on cross-channel routes.”
Just 5,600 passengers arrived on transatlantic routes and 5,900 passengers departed on these routes.
This illustrates the continuing and dramatic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on international travel to and from IrelandStatistician Gregg Patrick
Apart from Great Britain, which accounts for almost all cross-channel routes, the most important routing countries for overseas travel in October were Spain (13,700 arrivals, 15,900 departures), Poland (13,500 arrivals, 13,400 departures) and the Netherlands (8,900 arrivals, 8,300 departures).
“The statistics show that more than four million overseas passengers travelled to and from Ireland,” Mr Patrick added.
“This compares to more than 17 million overseas passengers in the same period in 2019.
“This illustrates the continuing and dramatic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on international travel to and from Ireland.”
Christmas travel is expected to be much lower this year compared to previous years.
A new coronavirus testing centre opened at Dublin Airport with the capacity to conduct thousands of tests per day.
The drive-through facility, operated by Irish healthcare company RocDoc, began its operations almost two weeks ago.
The firm believes it can help facilitate safer national and international travel ahead of the Christmas period.
Currently, people arriving in Ireland from “green” countries do not have to take extra precautions under the traffic light system.
Those coming from “orange” countries or regions will not have to restrict their movements on arrival if they have tested negative no more than three days prior to their arrival.
Passengers arriving in Ireland from so-called red countries must restrict their movements for 14 days, but from November 29 they can reduce that period if they have a negative test a minimum of five days after arrival.