Ireland blocks UK from coronavirus safe travel list due to infection rate

Leinster House, Dublin, the seat of the Oireachtas, the parliament of Ireland; Brian Lawless, PA

Leinster House, Dublin, the seat of the Oireachtas, the parliament of Ireland; Brian Lawless, PA - Credit: PA

Ministers from the Republic of Ireland are set to ask citizens not to travel to the UK as it releases a list of safe travel destinations.

Anyone looking to travel to the UK will instead have to quarantine, Ireland's foreign minister has warned.

The restrictions will be in place regardless of Britain adding Ireland onto its own list of safe travel destinations two weeks ago.

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Ireland's foreign minister, Simon Coveney, said the list, to be published on Monday, will 'not be particularly long' and will also exclude America, which has seen a massive surge in cases in the last fortnight.

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The minister said officials used scientific advice and epidemiological data to build the index and explained that countries with Covid-19 infection rates exceeding a certain threshold will be excluded.

Coveney told the Irish press: 'I think it's very unlikely our closest neighbour either will be under that threshold... and that's really unfortunate because the two countries that we would like to be opening up to, in terms of international travel, are the UK and the US'.

As it stands, people arriving in Ireland from overseas need to fill in a locator form and self-isolate for 14 days, with key workers being the only people exempt from this rule.

People crossing the border to Northern Ireland do not face the same restrictions and nor will anyone travelling to a 'green list' destination.

The republic is tipped to add Germany and Italy to its 'green list' and any other countries with a similar infection rates to theirs.

Ireland has one of the lowest infections rates in Europe - just 12 cases per 100,000 people.

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