Government's travel green list 'a kick in the teeth' to small businesses, says Charity

Councillor questions why a person can travel to Italy, but not down to their local pub

The Government's travel green list is "a kick in the teeth" to domestic small businesses which "cannot yet open their doors".

This is the view of the Cathaoirleach of Galway County Council, James Charity, who also accused the Government of being "guilty of sending out mixed messages".

Cllr Charity points out that Monaco is on the green list but there are no direct flights between Ireland and Monaco. "In order to travel there, the usual airport of access is Nice in France. So does travelling the 30km from France to Monaco and back via Nice Airport mean quarantine or not on re-entry here?" he asked.

He also noted that while the Republic of Ireland has 15 countries on its green list, there are 56 countries on Northern Ireland's similar list, with no monitoring of inter-jurisdictional travel taking place on the island.

"Is it possible for one to travel north to Belfast," he said, "fly from there to one of the 56 countries on their list that is not on our Government's green list, including the UK, and then travel back home via Belfast without any follow up monitoring or quarantine taking place?"

'If our public health concerns prevent small businesses from re-opening, how can we possibly justify inward and outward international travel with a host of contradictory and mixed messages?'

Cllr Charity also raised concerns over US tourists. While the Green List permits Irish citizens to travel to 15 countries without the requirement to self-quarentine on re-entry, tourists from the USA, which has more than 8,000 cases per million people, "can freely travel here" with "little to any domestic policing of the 14 day quarantine requirement".

Cllr Charity [pictured above] has also questioned the inclusion of Italy on the list, given that the country has had more than 245,000 confirmed cases to date and +35,000 deaths. He said it makes no sense to be allowed travel there, but not to the local pub.

"Our first concern must be public health but there appears to be a startling lack of a coherent thought process and common sense in all of this," said Cllr Charity. "It's the small businesses in the likes of Galway and the West who are suffering most at the moment. If our public health concerns prevent them from re-opening, how can we possibly justify inward and outward international travel with a host of contradictory and mixed messages?"

 

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