A CORK travel agent has welcomed the resumption of non-essential international travel, but has said it will be “a number of months” before travel agents see any significant increase in activity.
Speaking to The Echo, former president of the Irish Travel Agents Association and managing director of Shandon Travel, Michael Doorley, said the majority of people have opted to holiday in Ireland this summer rather than travel abroad.
“We won’t see the results of it for a number of months, because most people have their staycations booked at this stage, so they won’t be looking for foreign summer holidays, so we won’t see that activity for about three months or so,” he said.
However, he stressed that the return of international travel is very welcome.
“It’s the beginning of the recovery for the trade in general, not just for travel agents but for airlines as well,” he said.
“It’s a good day.”
Yesterday, Ireland joined the rest of the EU in implementing the digital Covid certificate.
This means it is now possible to travel to Ireland from countries within the EU, Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland with no requirement to quarantine if the traveller has valid proof of being fully vaccinated, having recovered from Covid-19, or has had a negative PCR test in the previous 72 hours.
However, the Government has advised unvaccinated people to avoid high-risk activities, including international travel.
Travellers coming from other countries, including Great Britain, will not have to quarantine if they have valid proof that they are fully vaccinated or have recovered from Covid-19.
Those who travel on the basis of a negative PCR test will have to self-quarantine, but this can be ended if they have a second negative PCR test on day five.
Dublin Airport Authority CEO Dalton Philips described yesterday as “hugely exciting” and a “much-anticipated day”.
“The global pandemic has taken an enormous toll, and people are looking forward to reconnecting with family and friends overseas who they haven’t seen for almost a year and a half,” he said.
“We have been waiting patiently for international travel to resume, and it is wonderful to see customers coming through the doors of our terminals again for leisure and business travel.”