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Taoiseach says it's too soon for British people to holiday in Ireland without quarantining for two weeks

“Suppression of the virus is key,” Micheál Martin told the Andrew Marr Show.

Image: BBC Politics/Twitter

TAOISEACH MICHEÁL MARTIN has said that it is too soon for British citizens to holiday in Ireland without going into a two-week quarantine.

Speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, Martin said that Ireland’s list of green countries would be determined by those who are at “Ireland’s level of disease control of below”.

“Suppression of the virus is key,” he said. “In certain parts of the UK there are still difficulties where certain areas have had to go into lockdown and so on and further severe restrictions… Caution is the watch word here.”

He said that this list would be kept under constant review.

“Why, because there’s a lot of international volatility with this virus, we’ve seen a spike in numbers and we’re very concerned about that,” he said, adding that Cabinet would look at this issue next week.

We’re watching what’s happening across Europe, he said.

It comes after there was increasing concern about a number of flights from US cities this weekend – including New York, Texas, California. 

Social Democrat leader Róisín Shortall said in response to the influx of flights:

This madness has to stop, Micheál Martin needs to act urgently to remove this shocking risk to our health and our economy.

“Complacency and mixed messages from government about ongoing threat from Covid-19 is very worrying and risks wasting all the sacrifices of past four months,” she said.

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On Brexit discussions, Martin said “I think there will be a deal, there has to be a deal. It can’t be at any price.” 

When asked about comments that Martin made at the MacGill Summer School about Boris Johnson – where he accused Johnson of not having “the slightest understanding” about the Good Friday Agreement – Martin replied that he was “very happy” with discussions he and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson have had.

“I’m very heartened by our discussion in terms of trying to reset the British Irish relationship post Brexit, which I think the Prime Minister is very keen on doing. And I was particularly taken by that,” he said, adding that he’s “dedicated and committed” to doing that with Johnson.

Addressing Fianna Fáil’s policy of a United Ireland, Martin said that he was was including a new Shared Island Unit in the Department of An Taoiseach “to develop fresh thinking around” how to move relations between the North and Republic forward.

“A border poll is too divisive,” Martin said, echoing comments he made in an interview with BBC Northern Ireland.

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