Irish agents say ‘green list’ changes are ‘immaterial’

The Irish government has removed five countries from its ‘green list’ of approved destinations.

Monaco, San Marino, Gibraltar, Malta and Cyprus were removed from the green list on Tuesday amid concerns about increasing cases of Covid-19.

The Irish Travel Agents Association welcomes any government action to control the spread of the virus but added: “Removing the five countries from the green list will not have a material effect on travel agents.

“The demand for international travel has significantly decreased due to low levels of consumer confidence as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and bookings to Malta and Cyprus were not significant.”

The ITAA believes that the addition or removal of countries to the list is “immaterial”, as many consumers are choosing not to travel abroad for the remainder of 2020.

The association does, however, see evidence of large pent-up demand for travel in 2021 which could repair some of the damage suffered by the Irish travel industry in 2020.

It estimates there are currently 250,000 jobs at risk in the tourism sector, which is Ireland’s largest homegrown industry.

The initial green list of 15 countries that travellers can visit without having to self-isolate upon return was launched last month, and did not include Great Britain.

Popular holiday destinations such as the US, France, Spain and Portugal have also been left off the list, as only countries with the same or lower infection rate than Ireland were included.

Travel from Northern Ireland remains exempt from restrictions.

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