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Green List: Germany and Poland among countries added as Greece, Italy and Norway removed

The Department of Foreign Affairs provided an update on the new Green List countries this afternoon.

File photo. Passengers walking through Dublin Airport.
File photo. Passengers walking through Dublin Airport.
Image: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie

Updated Sep 17th 2020, 3:49 PM

THE GOVERNMENT’S so-called Green List is to change from Monday, going from 10 European countries to seven. 

Italy, Greece, Hungary, Norway, Slovakia, Greenland and Estonia have all been removed from the list. Germany, Poland and Iceland have been added. 

The new Green List takes effect from Monday 21 September, with the current list expiring at midnight on Sunday. 

Individuals arriving into Ireland from Green List countries do not have to restrict their movements upon entry into the country.

It means that people can travel to these countries for non-essential travel – such as for a holiday – and return without a need to restrict their movements. 

The new government system will see countries with an incidence rate of less than 25 cases per 100,000 in the past fortnight included on the Green List. 

The counties on the updated list are as follows: 

Cyprus, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. 

Five of the countries on the updated list – Cyprus, Finland, Iceland, Latvia and Lithuania – currently have some form of restrictions for arrivals from other jurisdictions, including Ireland.

Cyprus

Cyprus has split countries into three categories; A, B and C. Ireland is a Category B country.

Passengers from Category B countries will need to:

  • have undergone a test for Covid-19 at a certified lab, within 72 hours prior to their departure, and hold a certificate demonstrating the negative result to the test;
  • provide specific information and a declaration.

There are some exceptions, including in cases where people are travelling from countries whose authorities are not able to offer Covid-19 testing to those wishing to travel to Cyprus.

These passengers will have the option of taking the test upon their arrival in Cyprus and will be required to pay for the cost of the test.

Finland

Ireland is classified as a Category 1 country and restrictions apply to those arriving into the country.

Some work related travel is allowed. Other than that, only family members or those in a relationship with someone living in Finland are allowed to travel there. 

And self-quarantine is recommended for those arriving in Finland from these countries.

Iceland

Iceland classifies all other countries and territories as risk areas and no travel into Iceland from an EU country is allowed for tourism.

Latvia

Latvia is advising against travel by its citizens to countries with an incidence rate above 25 cases per 100,000 over a 14-day period. This includes Ireland.

Anyone arriving in Latvia from Ireland must self-isolate for 14 days.

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Lithuania

A two-week self-isolation requirement is applied to persons arriving from countries with an incidence rate of 25 cases per 100,000, including Ireland. Passengers from these countries will also have to provide a negative result to a coronavirus test performed within 72 hours prior to their arrival.

New EU plan

The new list will remain in place until the European Commission’s new guidelines on air travel across the EU is adopted.

Due to come into effect next month, the plan would create a traffic light system.

These proposals will establish a common criteria and thresholds for EU member states when deciding whether to introduce travel restrictions. 

It would also provide mapping of common criteria using an agreed colour code, and a common framework for measures applied to travellers from high-risk areas.

The European Commission suggests that EU States should not restrict the free movement of people travelling from another member state where the total number of newly notified Covid-19 cases is equal or less to 50 per 100,000 during a 14-day period, or the percentage of positive tests from all Covid-19 tests in a given area is less than 3%.

Responding to the updated list, Aer Lingus said it is concerned at the approach taken by the Department of Foreign Affairs.

“On Tuesday the government indicated that it would align with the proposals developed by the European Commission which outlines a co-ordinated approach to free movement across the European Union and European Economic Area. The ‘green list’ announced today does not represent a step towards alignment with the European Commission’s free movement proposal,” the airline said.

“The application of that proposal would have seen the following countries retained on the list: Greece, Italy, Norway, and Slovakia. It would also have seen the following countries added to the list: Bulgaria, Sweden, Slovenia, Denmark, United Kingdom, Portugal, Belgium, Netherlands, Austria, Luxembourg, Malta.

“Aer Lingus looks forward to the early and complete implementation of the European Commission’s free movement proposal.”

- With reporting by Rónán Duffy  and Michelle Hennessy.

About the author:

Sean Murray

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