Aer Lingus Statement re revisions to Traffic Light System announced by Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade on 10th November

Press releaseAer Lingus Statement re revisions to Traffic Light System announced by Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade on 10th November

November 10, 2020

Aer Lingus welcomes the further revisions to the testing regime to facilitate the ‘European Traffic Light’ system that were announced by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade on 10th November.

We note that with effect from midnight on 29th November, arrivals from an EU red region will not be expected to restrict movements following receipt of a negative/not-detected result from a Covid-19 PCR test taken a minimum of five days after arrival in Ireland.

Aer Lingus also welcomes the exemption for passengers with an essential function from the requirement to undergo restricted movement or testing while exercising this essential function. We note that this includes critical occupations, students and persons travelling for imperative family or business reasons. This exemption will allow passengers with an essential function to travel without restriction.

Aer Lingus also welcomes that arrivals from third countries (including the USA and Canada) will be treated on the same basis as arrivals from red regions, including exemptions from advice to restrict movements for the purpose of performing an essential function. This means that passengers arriving from the USA and Canada will be treated in the same way as passengers arriving from EU “red” regions and can therefore also take a Covid-19 PCR test a minimum of five days after arrival in Ireland to avoid further movement restrictions.

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These changes represent positive steps towards facilitating increased safe international travel, which is critical to the Irish economy.

While noting that the Government has initially established a PCR testing solution for post arrival testing, Aer Lingus believes that going forward tests should be based on a rapid and affordable testing solution. Aer Lingus believes that a rapid antigen testing regime is the most appropriate standard in this regard. Only a rapid and affordable testing solution will facilitate a meaningful increase in safe international travel.

Aer Lingus believes that following the initial implementation of the measures, the fortnightly review process should over time lead to a streamlining of the processes and allow a meaningful increase in safe international travel. This streamlining should lead to a limited form of random rapid testing for passengers arriving from higher risk ‘orange’ coded countries or regions, and pre-departure testing for countries or regions classified as ‘red’.

Aer Lingus believes the adoption of the Traffic Light System will enable customers to book with confidence for travel in 2021.

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