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Aer Lingus demands clarity on 'travel criteria'

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'Aer Lingus said that the so-called ‘air bridge’ scheme is too short on details and specifics and “totally undermines the initiative”.' (Stock photo: Niall Carson/PA)

'Aer Lingus said that the so-called ‘air bridge’ scheme is too short on details and specifics and “totally undermines the initiative”.' (Stock photo: Niall Carson/PA)

'Aer Lingus said that the so-called ‘air bridge’ scheme is too short on details and specifics and “totally undermines the initiative”.' (Stock photo: Niall Carson/PA)

The two-week wait to announce safe 'air bridges' to and from Ireland is a bridge too far, according to Aer Lingus.

The Government plans to allow people from certain 'green list' countries that have contained the Covid-19 virus to travel to and from Ireland from next month.

But Aer Lingus said that the so-called 'air bridge' scheme is too short on details and specifics and "totally undermines the initiative".

"No clarity will be provided until July 9 regarding what countries will be 'green' for [the] purposes of an 'air bridge' and what criteria will be applied to their selection," the airline said.

"This further delay will be very damaging to the Irish economy and to jobs within it, eliminating the prospect of any inbound tourist and business passengers for at least the month of July."

It was issued after Taoiseach Leo Varadkar announced earlier this week that travel restrictions are likely to be eased for passengers arriving from countries that have brought the virus under control.

This is despite a recommendation from a Government-appointed taskforce calling for the current 14-day quarantine to be dropped; a move also strongly endorsed by airline Ryanair.

But last night the State's public health emergency team reiterated its plea for people to avoid all non-essential travel abroad, noting a spike in the number of people testing positive in certain countries.

Irish Independent