Irish travel agents made it clear that they need a common sense approach to pre-departure COVID-19 testing across Europe.
At present, only travellers coming to Ireland from the UK and South Africa have to produce a negative PCR test result.
The Irish Travel Agents Association is now seeking for the process of widening this rules. This will not only to reduce the risk of transmitting the virus, but to help re-establish air travel.
A 95% decrease in business has been experienced by the agents since the pandemic began.
CEO of travel agency Click and Go, Paul Hackett pointed that we need to look to other countries.
He said that the global crisis has been consistently unstable and bad for the travel industry since March.
He said that the travel industry, naturally given a pandemic, is at the receiving end of possibly the worst set of data, set of numbers.
He added that all the sectors including airports, airlines, etc. had done some fabulous work to create a safe traveling environment in 2020.
The Foreign Affairs Minister said on the previous week that Ireland won’t introduce “tit-for-tat” travel restrictions on Germany after the country implemented a requirement that air passengers arriving there from Ireland will need to have had a negative COVID-19 test less than 48 hours before flying.
Mr Hackett said: “Germany have put a PCR requirement for arrivals from Ireland, Spain have a PCR requirement of a negative test result for Irish arrivals once Ireland is designated red.”
Mr Hackett said that Ireland must consider a “common sense approaches” from regions such as the Canary Islands which require travellers to test negative for COVID-19 before they can check into hotels.
“What we also need to do at the same time is really address the issues around the vaccination programme because something doesn’t seem to be right….. We’re all talking about it but the data clearly indicates that something isn’t right here, is it the supply chain issue, if so is it European-wide?…. I’m also slightly concerned about the IT infrastructure to manage something like this.” he said.
He said that currently there are only less number of people travelling, with numbers this month “less than 5% of what it would have been last January”.
Mr Hackett said that nobody is crying out for business to commence until we have the structures in place to do so.