It's safe to say that the Governments' Living with Covid plan has, at least at this point, been fraught with mixed messages. With the whole country on a Stage Two alert system with extra measures for Dublin, they are struggling to get clear, concise instruction out, particularly for those in the capital. One of the (many questions) raised was related to travel
So, can I travel outside of Dublin?
On Wednesday evening, reports suggest government ministers have raised the possibility that the restrictions level in Dublin could be raised from Stage Two to the stricter Stage Three.
Currently, being on Stage Two, the advice is that you can, but you are being asked not to. The official stated advice on the Government website to those living in Dublin is that they should be “encouraged to limit travel outside the region and only meet one other household when outside the county”.
“We are asking those who are living within Dublin don’t, if at all possible, travel outside of the city and county of Dublin, and we’re asking them to obey that guidance because of our great concern about the health of those who live in Dublin and what it could mean in the city,” Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe told RTE Morning Ireland.
He added that people living in Dublin who were considering going on holidays or a weekend away elsewhere in the State should reschedule, and that people should avoid travelling to Dublin. He also added that those from Dublin going to weddings outside the county should reconsider.
This was echoed by Dr Ronan Glynn, the acting CMO, Tainiste Leo Vardadkar and Taoiseach Micheal Martin today.
There are no legal restrictions, but the advice is essentially, to stay put.
If Dublin is officially moved to Stage Three, it would mean "you will be asked to stay within your county, apart from work/education or essential purposes," which include caring for a loved one.
What about international travel?
The travel advice is changing.
Varadkar told RTÉ’s Prime Time this week that travel policy is now clearer. He confirmed Ireland will be using the same metrics other EU countries – a traffic light system – use to update the Green List, which has not had any countries added since mid-August.
Instead of being updated fortnightly, the Green List will now be updated every Thursday. “We are saying you can travel to those countries [on the Green List] without any restrictions,” he said.
— RTÉ Prime Time (@RTE_PrimeTime) September 15, 2020
The travel Green List will have a number of countries added and removed based on the latest data from the European Centre for Disease Control. This means countries with an incidence rate of fewer than 25 cases per 100,000 over the past 14 days will be green listed.
Countries which remain in the amber or red zones mean travellers will be subjected to restrictions, including quarantining on arrival from any of those countries.
Main photograph: Unsplash
Read more: Living with Covid plan: Each of the Five Stages explained