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Consular flights and ferries for Irish residents stranded in Britain announced by government

Two flights will take place tomorrow evening.

The flights will be operated by Irish airlines. File photo.
The flights will be operated by Irish airlines. File photo.
Image: LEAH FARRELL; RollingNews.ie

THE GOVERNMENT THIS evening announced consular flights and ferry journeys for Irish residents who are stranded in Britain due to the travel ban to get home to Ireland.

At least two repatriation flights from Britain have been charted and they will take place tomorrow evening, the Ministers for Foreign Affairs and Transport said today.

At least one of the flights will depart from London, the other departure airport will be decided by the demand from those who contact the Department of Foreign Affairs assistance line.

The number for the assistance line to book flights and ferries is +353 1 613 1700.

The flights will also be accessible to Irish-bound passengers who are transiting through British airports who have become stranded.

There will be no access to people living in Britain who were planning short trips to Ireland for Christmas. 

Anyone eligible to travel on the consular flights must identify themselves to the Department of Foreign Affairs, demonstrate their entitlement and register to be included on the flight by calling a dedicated assistance line.

The flights cannot be booked through any other route.

A small number of Irish residents are stranded in Britain after taking short trips in their vehicles. The Department of Foreign Affairs and the Department of Transport is making arrangements with ferry companies to give these Irish residents exceptional access to ferry services in order to return home.

The ferry journeys cannot be booked directly and those eligible to travel must also contact the assistance line.

The Department of Foerign Affairs said the decision whether or not to organise more flights would be kept under review.

Those who do travel from Britain must self-isolate for 14 days, it added. They will also have to fill out a passenger locator form.

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The government announced it was banning flights to and from the UK for a minimum period of 48 hours yesterday.

At a Department of Health press conference this evening, Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan reiterated the National Public Health Emergency Team’s (NPHET) advice that all non-essential travel must be avoided.

Dr Holohan said that people who travelled into Ireland from the UK in the last 14 days would “ideally” be tested.

“They certainly should self-isolate as opposed to restrict movement. So it’s important again to stress the difference between those two. Restrict movements means effectively staying at home, but mingling within the house is provided for,” he explained.

Self-isolation is staying in your room staying away from other people that you live with and not coming into contact with other people. So we’re saying people should self isolate in those situations. 

The number for the assistance line to book flights and ferries is +353 1 613 1700.

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Ceimin Burke

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