Tuesday, 16 June 2020
Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport
885. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the estimated timeline that overseas travel will be regularised again to enable the hospitality and tourism industry prepare and engage in medium-term planning. [11545/20]
Currently, the Government advice continues to be against all non-essential travel overseas until further notice.
On Friday 12 June the Government noted a European coordinated approach to lifting COVID-19 border controls and travel restrictions, as announced by the European Commission on 11 June. The Commission recommends that Schengen Member States and Schengen Associated States lift internal border controls by 15 June 2020, but extend the temporary restriction on non-essential travel from third countries to the EU until 30 June 2020.
The European Commission has set out the broad framework for lifting border restrictions, with consideration to the epidemiological context, (i.e. the extent to which the virus is under control in countries and regions), the ability to apply containment measures for safe travel throughout the whole journey, and economic and social considerations, initially prioritising cross-border movement in key areas of activity and including personal reasons.
We will be guided by Government, the Department of Health and the Department of Foreign Affairs as Ireland continues with EU level discussions on these issues.
My Department has had extensive engagement with industry and stakeholders involved in travel and tourism since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, and I have established Task Forces for Tourism and for Aviation Recovery. The Aviation Recovery Task Force established last week will focus on the immediate action required and on further measures with a five year outlook.
Work is also advanced on the development of protocols for safe international travel by air and sea in line with the EU best practice guidance.