Ireland’s Green List of countries has been updated.
I will be updating this post regularly with travel updates due to coronavirus, so bookmark it and make it your go-to post for the latest travel information. If you have queries in relation to airline refunds and vouchers, these posts might also be of interest:
Green List has been revised and will come into effect on Monday 28th September 2020.
The government has revised the list of ‘Green List’ countries where people can travel to without having to self-isolate on their return, before it opts in to the EU’s centralised travel plan in October. This list will be updated on a weekly basis.
“Inclusion on the list will require a cumulative disease incidence rate per 100,000 of 25 or less, based on the latest data from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).”
The revised list is as follows:
Finland, Cyprus, Latvia, Liechtenstein
The current list remains in effect until midnight 27th September.
Finland, Cyprus, Latvia, Poland, Germany, Iceland, Lithuania
Travel Restrictions may still apply to Irish people visiting selected countries in EU and around the world:
It is important to note that many countries require negative Covid PCR tests to be produced on entry, if you are arriving from a high risk country. As Ireland’s infection rate is 71.6 per 100,000 cases ( 24th September), we may be considered high risk in selected countries. In fact, Germany recently added Dublin to its list of high risk regions. It is imperative that you check the entry requirements with the country you are due to travel with before you fly.
According to the Department of Foreign Affairs website:
“Inclusion on the list does not imply the absence of any restrictions on arrivals in those locations. Citizens should be aware that countries continue to announce new restrictions on arrivals from abroad, including the requirement to quarantine on entry. This can include restrictions on arrivals from Ireland. The situation will continue to evolve quickly. Citizens who are considering travel to particular locations are advised to monitor news and information from the public authorities in their destination. The list and our Travel Advice is under regular review, based on ECDC data and advice from experts, and will be updated on a regular basis.”
On September 15th, the government has confirmed that it broadly supports the idea of opting into EU’s centralised travel restrictions, but currently Ireland is still adopting our ‘Green List’ model.
The European Commission earlier this month proposed a common traffic light system for EU member states to coordinate border controls. High risk areas include ‘regions’ rather than whole countries and this system will be based on the ECDC rates of Covid-19 per 100,000 of population.
It is likely to have a three or four tiered approach. Green List countries or regions will have an infection rate of 25 or less per 100,000 of population, Orange List countries will have an infection rate of 50 or less per 100,000 of population, and Red countries will have an infection rate of over 50 per 100,000 of population.
It is assumed that countries with high infection rates will require a negative Covid-19 / PCR test to enter. This new system is currently being finalised in the EU and a plan is due to be announced on October 13th.
Our current Green List is also calculated on the ECDC rates of cases of Covid-19 per 100,000 of population. Currently Ireland’s rate is 71.6 (at 24th September), but our green list of countries will only allow us to travel to countries with a case rate of 25 per 100,000 of population or less, without having to quarantine on our return.
This website is a handy source to have, it shows you the number of Covid-19 cases in each European country, and may be useful if you wish plan overseas to a country with a lower infection rate than our own.
Please note that travel advice against non-essential travel does NOT apply to Green List countries, instead ‘normal precautions’, apply. The change in travel advice means that travel insurance should cover you for travel to these Green List countries, as long as the country you are due to travel to is on the Green List when you depart Ireland.
Multitrip.com have already confirmed that they will cover cancellation as a result of positive Covid-19 diagnosis and cover medical expenses abroad resulting from Covid-19. This will be added to new and existing policies.
What if you don’t want to travel?
If you do you wish to travel, but your flight is operating, you are not entitled to a refund, regardless of your health situation. You should be able to change your travel dates, but if you cancel because you do not want to fly, that is seen as your own personal decision and no refund will be due.
Ryanair announced that cancellations up to end of July have been processed and all passengers notified. Therefore if you have not received any notification that your flight is cancelled, it is more than likely operating. They are currently NOT waiving change fees for existing bookings, so if you choose to change dates, you will have to pay the appropriate change fees.
Aer Lingus will allow you to change your dates without paying change fees for all departures up to 31st December.
If the government advice is still in place against non-essential travel to the destination that you are due to travel to, then you may be able to claim on your travel insurance. You will need to have had a policy taken out with travel disruption cover or government advice, before the advice came into effect.
Refunds and Vouchers:
Many airlines are offering vouchers instead of refunds and there has been a lot of confusion across the travel industry. The Irish government has recently backed a new refund credit note that can be used by travel agents and tour operators to give to customers instead of a refund – note this is not applicable to airlines. These credit notes will be guaranteed by the state in the event that the travel agent or tour operator ceases trading. It will be issued with a future redeemable date, and on that date it can be exchanged for its cash, or can be used to book another holiday. According to Shane Ross, ‘the refund credit note aims to strike a balance between preventing sector-wide bankruptcy (with associated immediate job losses) and consumer rights.’
While Ryanair and Aer Lingus are ‘officially’ offering refunds for cancelled flights, they are actively trying to get passengers to accept vouchers or change their departure dates. Other travel companies are not offering refunds at all. I have full list of my most popular questions answered, and the links to apply for refunds in these posts:
Face masks are mandatory with most airlines:
Like many airlines, Aer Lingus and Ryanair have confirmed that face masks are now mandatory. While social distancing is not possible on board aircrafts, there will be extra distancing measures in place in airports, and in-flight services will be reduced.
Cruise lines & Tour Operators latest updates:
- MSC has cancelled all sailings for UK & Ireland residents until 31st October. They will have a reduced number of ships in both the East and West Mediterranean from 15th August for Schengen residents only, (not UK or Ireland passengers). Guests booked on a summer cruise can, up until 31st October, take advantage of the MSC Cruises’ Flexible Cruise Programme which allows guests to reschedule their cruise to a future departure date through to 31 December 2021. Guests affected by cancellations will receive a Future Cruise Credit of the value of 125%. If you are not in a position to take a Future Cruise credit, MSC Cruises will refund 100% of the balance paid on Cruise only and Fly Cruises.
- Princess Cruises cancel all operations until the 15th December. Passengers can request a full refund or receive 125% cruise credit.
- Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Azamara and Silversea have cancelled most sailings until 31st October. Passengers can request a full refund, a 125% cruise credit or can change existing cruise to 2021 at the same cost – see more here.
- Norwegian Cruise Line have cancelled all sailings until 31st October. Passengers can request a full refund or receive 125% or 150% cruise credit, depending on departure date. Cruise credit is valid until December 2022.
US bans travel from Europe including UK & Ireland.
President Donald Trump has amended the US travel ban to include Ireland and UK effective midnight 16th March.The ban applies to anyone who has been in Europe within 14 days prior to their arrival in the US. This does not apply to US citizens, however they will have to undergo health screenings on arrival.
Travel Insurance to exclude Covid-19 for new policies issued.
With effect from 6pm on Monday 16th March 2020, a general exclusion for Covid-19 (Coronavirus) will apply to all new Blue Insurance travel insurance policies issued by travel agencies. This general exclusion will apply to all sections of the policy document. It is likely that all insurance companies will follow suit. Schedule Airline Failure and Third Party Supplier Insolvency will also be temporarily withdrawn.
Note: This post is being updated constantly but travel advice and updates are changing on a daily basis. It is important to check with the company / airline you are booking with before taking any steps to cancel or travel abroad.
Some of the links in this post are affiliate links where I receive a small commission if a booking is made, but at no additional cost to you.
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