THE CABINET will meet on Tuesday to discuss a possible extension to a travel ban on flights from Britain.
A 48-hour ban was imposed yesterday and came into being from midnight as an emergency response to concerns over a new variant of Covid-19 reported in southern England.
Flights are suspended and ferries are limited to freight travel after a meeting between the three coalition leaders on Sunday.
“The Taoiseach, the Tánaiste, the Minister for Transport and the Minister for Health had detailed discussions on Sunday and announced that in the interests of Public Health, people in Britain, regardless of nationality, should not travel to Ireland, by air or by sea,” a government statement said.
“Arrangements are being put in place to facilitate the repatriation of Irish residents on short trips to Great Britain and planning to return in the coming days, as well as international travellers to Ireland who are transiting through Great Britain.”
“Ferry crossings between Ireland and Great Britain will continue in order to keep essential supply chains moving. The Government direction for people not to travel from Great Britain to Ireland does not extend to essential supply chain workers.”
Essential supply chain workers are permitted to travel, including types of maritime or shipping workers and HGV drivers.
A Ryanair spokesperson said: “For any flights to/from the UK in the coming days (December 20 to 24) which are banned by EU government regulation, all affected customers will receive an email notification and they will be offered practical alternatives, including free moves (no change fee applies) or refunds, if they so wish.
“In the case of all other flights to/from the UK which are permitted to fly, Ryanair will operate these flights to facilitate all passengers who need to travel for business reasons and are booked on them or wish to move to these flights.
“If any such passengers (booked on operating flights) do not wish to travel during the next five days prior to Christmas, then Ryanair will facilitate a free move of their booking (no change fee applies) to any date up to March 15.”
A spokesperson for Are Lingus said: “Customers whose flights have been cancelled will be contacted by Aer Lingus directly, and are entitled to a refund, voucher or rerouting at a later date.
“Aer Lingus continues to liaise with the Department of Transport, other government departments and the relevant authorities as required.”