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The end of céad míle fáilte: I'm not welcome in my own country because of coronavirus

Mary Kenny


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Following the rules: A priest wearing a protective face mask at Terminal 2 in Dublin Airport during the Covid-19 lockdown. PHOTO: BRIAN LAWLESS/PA

Following the rules: A priest wearing a protective face mask at Terminal 2 in Dublin Airport during the Covid-19 lockdown. PHOTO: BRIAN LAWLESS/PA

Following the rules: A priest wearing a protective face mask at Terminal 2 in Dublin Airport during the Covid-19 lockdown. PHOTO: BRIAN LAWLESS/PA

All through the Brexit negotiations, one continuous theme has been reiterated, especially by the British authorities: Ireland and Britain will remain a 'common travel area' as they have been since 1923. Whatever happens between the UK and continental EU countries, the special arrangements between these two islands will stay in place.

Not just because there is so much travel between Ireland and Britain, but because Northern Ireland must also be taken into the equation.

So when I booked a flight from Gatwick to Dublin for today, I assumed that the common travel area protocols would be operational again. Britain is easing out of lockdown, and travel arrangements are opening up with continental Europe - no problem to travel to France, Germany or Italy. Surely Ireland was in closer alignment with this common travel area.