#Open journalism No news is bad news

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support The Journal
Dublin: -1°C Sunday 24 January 2021
Advertisement

Coveney says inter-county travel ban may be re-introduced before 6 January

Cabinet will meet tomorrow to decide when tighter restrictions should be imposed.

Image: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie

MINISTER FOR FOREIGN Affairs Simon Coveney has said the government may decide to re-introduce the inter-county travel ban earlier than 6 January.

The inter-county travel restriction was only lifted at the weekend, along with the ban on household visits, to allow families to come together over the Christmas period.

It was flagged over the weekend, that inter-county travel would remain in place until 6 January, however Cabinet is set to u-turn on that decision tomorrow.

The current level of restrictions was due to remain in place until 6 January but health officials and the government are concerned about rapidly increasing levels of infection in the country.

Yesterday Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan said every indicator of disease severity is moving in the wrong direction, “more rapidly than we had anticipated”.

Speaking to RTÉ’s Claire Byrne Live, Simon Coveney said the government does not want to rush decisions “simply to be out early”. He said the government is working “night and day” to ensure they make “the right decisions” to protect people.

Coveney said he said changes to inter-county travel may change before 6 January.

“That’ll be a decision for Cabinet tomorrow, so we’ll do as we always try to do in government, make decisions with all of the facts in front of us, from NPHET, from the HSE, from the Department of Health and other departments as well, whether it’s the Department of Transport, or the Department of Jobs or whatever.

“I suspect a long Cabinet meeting tomorrow, and then decisions based on the data and the information we have, to try to protect people and keep them safe through Christmas.

And that may mean introducing further restrictions before the 6th of January – in fact I expect that’ll be the case – but we’ll have to decide when and what new restrictions are introduced given the growth in the numbers that we’re seeing day-on-day at the moment.

Government sources stated that the date is set to be brought forward “much sooner”, but explained what it might mean for those that are travelling to another county for Christmas.

Even if new restrictions are brought in clamp down on inter-county travel, people are still allowed to travel for work/school,so if you’ve gone home to Sligo or whatever other part of the country, you can still stay there until you come back to your home county in the New Year or whenever you decide to return home. 

The restriction are only to prevent people from circulating around the country unnecessarily.

#Open journalism No news is bad news Support The Journal

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support us now

On the UK travel suspension, Coveney said the Department of Transport is talking to airlines to ensure a limited number of flights is made available to bring home Irish residents who were temporarily in the UK or who were transitioning through UK airports.

He said these people will be asked to quarantine for 14 days and fill out a passenger locator form when they come back to Ireland.

He said he believes the number coming back from the UK will be very small with just a handful of flights a day, as opposed to the 35 flights a day that had been anticipated.

With reporting by Christina Finn

Read next:

COMMENTS (33)

This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel