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Tuesday 3 October 2023 Dublin: 11°C
Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland File image of plane takeoff at Dublin Airport.
# Getting out of here
Spending on air travel more than doubled in the first week of Phase 2
The Government, however, is continuing to advise against booking holidays abroad in the near future.

SPENDING ON AIR travel has more than doubled in the last week according to figures from Bank of Ireland despite Government advice remaining that non-essential travel abroad should be avoided. 

An analysis of debit card spending from Bank of Ireland over the past week – the first week of transactions since Phase 2 of the Covid-19 recovery roadmap kicked in – show that spending on air travel jumped by 139%. 

The increase was based on the average spend on air travel during the lockdown between 28 March and 7 June. 

Spending on accommodation also increased significantly between 8 June and 14 June with an increase of 101% compared to the average for the previous 11 weeks. 

In the most recent advice from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, it warned Irish citizens “against all non-essential travel overseas until further notice. This includes Great Britain but does not apply to Northern Ireland [and] also includes all travel by cruise ship”.

In recent days, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said it was “too soon” to book holidays abroad but said air corridors are being considered, through which Irish holidaymakers could travel abroad to specific countries where the virus has been suppressed to a similar level as Ireland. 


The analysis of debit card transactions also pointed to an increase in spending in other areas, including take aways, but showed a drop off in spending in other areas such as gaming and online streaming. 

With more restaurants reopening for take away services, the spend in this area increased by 63%. 

Retail stores, including major high street stores, lifted their shutters on 8 June having been closed for almost three months, and spending in this area increased by 56% as a result. 

Thousands also returned to work and travel limits were relaxed from the same date leading to an increase in spending on passenger transport including trains, buses and taxis of 115%. 

On the opposite end of the scale, the spend on both entertainment and gaming was down by 11% and 21% respectively. 

Video streaming services were down 13% and spending on groceries, which skyrocketed during the lockdown, began to decline. It was down by 2%. 

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