The Irish government on Thursday tightened its Covid-19 travel restrictions by imposing quarantines on travelers from major holiday markets Italy and Greece, angering the country’s dominant airlines Ryanair and Aer Lingus.
Ireland had initially waived quarantine for travelers from countries with lower Covid-19 rates, but as its 14-day infection rate surged to above 50 cases per 100,000, the government said only places half that rate would be exempt.
Countries removed from the previous Green List include Estonia, Greece, Greenland, Hungary, Italy, Norway and Slovakia.
The new “Green List,” which goes into effect on Monday, 21. Sept 2020, allows travelers arriving from just seven countries to avoid quarantine: Cyprus, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland.
AirLingus said it was concerned by the fact the government had repeatedly indicated in recent weeks that it planned to adopt a more liberal European Commission proposal, but instead cut back the number of countries exempt from quarantine.
Ryanair, which is taking a case to the Irish High Court challenging the legality of the quarantine rules, said the aviation and tourism sectors “cannot afford any further delays or indecision.”
The Green List will be reportedly updated every week and will include countries with a 14-day cumulative number of Covid-19 cases per 100,000 of 25 or less, based on the latest data from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).