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'The travel is not the problem - it's how you act when you get to your destination'

Passengers feel safe as foreign flights resume

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Visit: Ingrid Dessert and her children Theo (8) and Louis (4) at Dublin Airport after travelling from Paris. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Visit: Ingrid Dessert and her children Theo (8) and Louis (4) at Dublin Airport after travelling from Paris. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Visit: Ingrid Dessert and her children Theo (8) and Louis (4) at Dublin Airport after travelling from Paris. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Foreign travel is back on the cards after restrictions on flights were eased and airlines began to offer more services.

Ryanair organised 1,000 flights, and at Dublin Airport yesterday there were more people travelling than have been for months, despite calls from chief medical officer Tony Holohan to avoid foreign travel if it's not necessary.

The lack of clear direction from the Government on foreign travel has been criticised by the Consumer Association, who said Irish holidaymakers had been left in "a no-man's land" because they would have to forfeit thousands of euro if they cancelled flights.

And while that debate continued, Dublin Airport saw a lift in numbers from early morning.

Michael and Eileen Clair, from Co Clare, were traveling to their holiday home in France, and they said they felt safe getting on a plane.

They said they would have travelled before now if they could have.

"The travel [situation] is Tony Holohan's opinion. Flights came in from the UK all throughout the whole thing, so if they are allowing people to come into the country surely we should be able to leave the country as well," said Michael.

"We're travelling to our own house in France, so we're basically in a safe zone. We're travelling to an area in France that has a very low instance of it [Covid] so I don't see why we should have any major concerns," said Eileen.

"All the precautions are in place and if you follow those guidelines it's the same thing as getting on a bus or a tram," said Michael.

"I wouldn't be comfortable going to a crowded beach or parties, but this is a completely different situation. We have the potential to isolate if necessary when we come back," Eileen said.

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Ingrid Dessert flew into Dublin airport with her two sons Theo (8) and Louis (4).

She is visiting her parents in Tipperary and will spend a week here before she flies back to Paris and the two boys spend the month with their grandparents.

"I came today because the flights opened up in this direction. My mother was supposed to be coming over to me but as she is over 70 she is cocooning at home so basically I didn't want her taking the plane so we took it instead," she said.

"It was good. Everything was in place that could have been done. There was a lot of hand sanitiser and distance, and everyone was wearing masks in the airport in Paris and it's the same here, and there were only 20 people on the plane, so it was fine."

Speaking about the dilemma of either following the health advice recommending that people do not fly or the possibility of losing money if a person cancels their flights, Ingrid said it was a "sticky decision".

"Obviously you don't want to be taking unnecessary risks. I can understand how Mr Holohan was talking about people not going abroad in case they pick it up while they're there.

"I don't think the travel itself is a big problem, it's a case of if you're going to be careful when you're there at your destination," she said.

Luke Parnell (26), from Ballyfermot, Dublin, was traveling to Amsterdam with some friends, and said he was looking forward to getting a break.

"We booked around four months ago, before all this lockdown happened, so we said we might as well go," he said.

"I'm only going for three days. I need to relax. I was worried I might not be able to go, but you have to take the good with the bad. I'll keep the mask on, keep the safety distance," said Luke.

"If I was being told 'don't fly, you'll get your money back' then I'd take the money back," he added.


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