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Government's 'Green List' Published but Travel Advice is to 'Holiday at Home'

22nd July 2020
Speaking on today's RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Simon Coveney said the message from Govnerment is still clear. The safest thing to do is not to holiday abroad. But we know that 50,000 people a week are leaving the country and I have an obligation as minister to give them guidance on risk attached to that travel. ABOVE: Fanad Head lighthouse in Co. Donegal - Government is urging people to 'staycation' this year. Speaking on today's RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Simon Coveney said the message from Govnerment is still clear. The safest thing to do is not to holiday abroad. But we know that 50,000 people a week are leaving the country and I have an obligation as minister to give them guidance on risk attached to that travel. ABOVE: Fanad Head lighthouse in Co. Donegal - Government is urging people to 'staycation' this year. Photo: Commissioners of Irish Lights

Simon Coveney the Minister for Foreign Affairs, RTE reports, has said that while a 'green list' of countries has been published, the safest thing for people to do is to holiday at home this year.

Last night, the Government published the list of 15 countries where the travel advice will be to take normal precautions and people arriving to Ireland from these countries will not have to restrict their movements for 14 days.

The countries are Malta, Finland, Norway, Italy, Hungary, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Cyprus, Slovakia, Greece, Greenland, Gibraltar, Monaco and San Marino and all have a similar or lower level of Covid-19 to Ireland.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Mr Coveney said Ireland remains slow to open up international travel but there have been no cases of Covid-19 brought into Ireland from these countries.

He said that 50,000 people a week are leaving Ireland and there is an obligation to give them travel advice based on risk.

The minister said "we would rather they were not [leaving], but they are" and it is important they have information about risk levels and about restricting movements when they return from other locations.

For much more reading on this topic of considerable public interest click here.

In addition Afloat adds a link to the Irish Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport on Protocals for International Travel issued today. 

  • 1. Protocols for the Safe Management of Passengers (by air and sea) in light of COVID-19
  • 2. Passenger Locator Form
  • 3. The Travel Green List

 The core headings above issued from the Dept. include downloads (scroll down website) for both Air and Maritime Travel Protocals.

Published in Ferry
Jehan Ashmore

About The Author

Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore is a marine correspondent, researcher and photographer, specialising in Irish ports, shipping and the ferry sector serving the UK and directly to mainland Europe. Jehan also occasionally writes a column, 'Maritime' Dalkey for the (Dalkey Community Council Newsletter) in addition to contributing to UK marine periodicals. 

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Ferry & Car Ferry News The ferry industry on the Irish Sea, is just like any other sector of the shipping industry, in that it is made up of a myriad of ship operators, owners, managers, charterers all contributing to providing a network of routes carried out by a variety of ships designed for different albeit similar purposes.

All this ferry activity involves conventional ferry tonnage, 'ro-pax', where the vessel's primary design is to carry more freight capacity rather than passengers. This is in some cases though, is in complete variance to the fast ferry craft where they carry many more passengers and charging a premium.

In reporting the ferry scene, we examine the constantly changing trends of this sector, as rival ferry operators are competing in an intensive environment, battling out for market share following the fallout of the economic crisis. All this has consequences some immediately felt, while at times, the effects can be drawn out over time, leading to the expense of others, through reduced competition or takeover or even face complete removal from the marketplace, as witnessed in recent years.

Arising from these challenging times, there are of course winners and losers, as exemplified in the trend to run high-speed ferry craft only during the peak-season summer months and on shorter distance routes. In addition, where fastcraft had once dominated the ferry scene, during the heady days from the mid-90's onwards, they have been replaced by recent newcomers in the form of the 'fast ferry' and with increased levels of luxury, yet seeming to form as a cost-effective alternative.

Irish Sea Ferry Routes

Irrespective of the type of vessel deployed on Irish Sea routes (between 2-9 hours), it is the ferry companies that keep the wheels of industry moving as freight vehicles literally (roll-on and roll-off) ships coupled with motoring tourists and the humble 'foot' passenger transported 363 days a year.

As such the exclusive freight-only operators provide important trading routes between Ireland and the UK, where the freight haulage customer is 'king' to generating year-round revenue to the ferry operator. However, custom built tonnage entering service in recent years has exceeded the level of capacity of the Irish Sea in certain quarters of the freight market.

A prime example of the necessity for trade in which we consumers often expect daily, though arguably question how it reached our shores, is the delivery of just in time perishable products to fill our supermarket shelves.

A visual manifestation of this is the arrival every morning and evening into our main ports, where a combination of ferries, ro-pax vessels and fast-craft all descend at the same time. In essence this a marine version to our road-based rush hour traffic going in and out along the commuter belts.

Across the Celtic Sea, the ferry scene coverage is also about those overnight direct ferry routes from Ireland connecting the north-western French ports in Brittany and Normandy.

Due to the seasonality of these routes to Europe, the ferry scene may be in the majority running between February to November, however by no means does this lessen operator competition.

Noting there have been plans over the years to run a direct Irish –Iberian ferry service, which would open up existing and develop new freight markets. Should a direct service open, it would bring new opportunities also for holidaymakers, where Spain is the most visited country in the EU visited by Irish holidaymakers ... heading for the sun!

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