Travel into Ireland is still technically permitted - should it be?
Update: This poll was closed on July 28. Check out the results here!
Ireland, unlike most of Europe, has opted to keep its borders open throughout the coronavirus pandemic, albeit with some restrictions are in place for people, both citizens and visitors alike, arriving from abroad.
In recent weeks, as Ireland begins to reopen from its coronavirus lockdowns, reports have begun to circulate that tourists, particularly from the US, have been flouting the restrictions put forth for people arriving from abroad which include completing Passenger Locator Forms and self-isolating for 14 days upon arrival.
The US has become the worst-hit country in the world; as of Monday evening, there were more than 3.8 million confirmed cases and more than 140,000 deaths in the country.
In the US, no one can enter the country unless they are a citizen or legal resident, with some exceptions.
The official advice, both in Ireland and the US, is to avoid all non-essential travel abroad.
One pub owner in Co Limerick, Gearoid Whelan, drew attention to the travel issue on Monday when he reopened his pub, which isn’t supposed to reopen until August 10 as part of the recently delayed Phase 4 of Ireland’s Roadmap to reopening society and the economy.
Whelan, whose pub was only opened for a few hours on Monday before it was ordered to shut, said in a tweet on July 19: “Almost 220,000 confirmed new covid cases in America in last 3 days yet our airports remain open to this epicentre and our businesses remain closed. Not anymore, im refusing to keep my door closed when visitors can holiday from America. See you tomoro at 11.”
The Irish government is expected to publish a “green list” this week which will name countries where people arriving from into Ireland will not be required to self-isolate. The US and UK are not expected to be included in the list.
However, as Dr. Gabriel Scally, President of the Public Health Section of the Royal Society of Medicine, points out, the green list could be problematic given the Republic’s free travel area with Northern Ireland, who could be operating under a different “green list.”
So we want to know - do you think the Republic of Ireland should close its borders to countries with high rates of coronavirus? Let us know in our survey, here: