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Irish Marine Federation Confirms Continued Ban on Visiting Vessels

30th June 2021
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The Irish Marine Federation has confirmed with the Government that restrictions against visiting vessels in Irish ports remain for the time being.

Last week Afloat.ie reported on contradictory advice that emerged in the wake of the latest update to maritime travel restrictions amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic from the Department of Transport.

Following that update on Wednesday (23 June), Irish Sailing said its understanding was that “the previous ban on foreign leisure vessels travelling to Irish ports has been lifted”. As of Wednesday morning 30 June, the statement remains on the Irish Sailing website.

This view was not shared by all in the marine industry, and in response the Irish Marine Federation (IMF) says it was “contacted by a number of members who were uneasy at the apparent downgrading of the ‘essential travel only’ advice currently in force”.

The IMF sought clarification from the Department of Transport, which has since confirmed that “there has been no change” and the current restrictions on travel to Ireland remain in place until at least 18 July.

“The IMF and its affiliated body, the Irish Marina Operators Association, have been keenly watching the travel situation develop throughout this ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and our members continue to suffer the financial loss of foreign leisure vessels excluded from coastal harbours and marinas,” the federation added.

“Nobody is more eager to see a safe and responsible return to marine tourism than our members are. We strongly recommend however that Government and public health advice is adhered to, as is clearly set out, and this is the only source of information used when assessing the risks and feasibility of international travel.”

Meanwhile, Afloat.ie has received its own confirmation from the Department of Transport that no cruise ships are permitted to enter any Irish port or anchor in Irish waters.

“While this decision will be kept under review, there are no plans at present for the resumption of cruises into Ireland,” the department added. “Government advice continues to be that only essential travel is to be undertaken in accordance with health authorities’ guidance.

“The focus at present is on minimising the risk of infection across all sectors. Any decision regarding the resumption of cruise tourism into Ireland will be based on the advice from public health officials.”

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Coronavirus (COVID-19): Irish Sailing & Boating

Since restrictions began in March 2020, the Government is preparing for a 'controlled and gradual return to sport' and the 2020 sailing fixtures are being tentatively redrafted by yacht clubs, rowing clubs angling and diving clubs across Ireland as the country enters a new phase in dealing with the Coronavirus. The hope is that a COVID-19 restrictions might be eased by May 5th as Sport Ireland has asked national governing bodies for information on the challenges they face. 

Coronavirus (COVID-19) information

COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It's caused by a virus called coronavirus.

To help stop the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) everyone has been asked to stay at home. But some people may need to do more than this.

You may need to either:

You do these things to stop other people from getting coronavirus.

Read advice for people in at-risk groups

Read advice about cocooning.

Restricted movements

Everybody in Ireland has been asked to stay at home. You should only go out for a few reasons, such as shopping for food.

But you need to restrict your movements further if you: 

  • live with someone who has symptoms of coronavirus, but you feel well
  • are a close contact of a confirmed case of coronavirus
  • have returned to Ireland from another country

You need to restrict your movements for at least 14 days.

But if the person you live with has had a test and it is negative, you don't need to wait 14 days. You should still follow the advice for everyone - stay at home as much as possible.

Close contact

This is only a guide but close contact can mean:

  • spending more than 15 minutes of face-to-face contact within 2 metres of an infected person
  • living in the same house or shared accommodation as an infected person

How to restrict your movements 

Follow the advice for everybody - stay at home.

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