Sinn Féin Dublin South West TD Seán Crowe has called on the Departments of Health and Foreign Affairs to provide greater clarity and guidance for all those who have paid upfront to travel abroad this summer.
Teachta Crowe said that Sinn Féin is looking for answers whether there will be refunds coming from holiday companies when airlines reopen routes as added government restrictions including 14-day self-quarantine requirements change the potential for travel overseas and make it impossible for many to now travel.
Teachta Crowe said:
“Families across Ireland who booked their summer holidays months ago, before the Covid-19 pandemic ever arrived, and have now been left with uncertainty and financial worry.
“They don’t know if they will be allowed to travel or if they will lose potentially thousands of euro that they have already spent on holidays.
“Neither the Department of Health nor the Department of Foreign Affairs can provide any clarity when asked about this issue.
“As other European countries are preparing to welcome tourists later this summer, those who return to our shores from overseas will be told to self-isolate for 14 days.
“This means an additional 14 days off work plus the holiday time and will not be feasible for many families and individuals. It also changes completely, through no fault of their own, the circumstances surrounding their original travel plans and the holidays they had booked.
“Holiday makers are now being put under another huge financial disadvantage with the holiday companies not under any obligation to refund their deposits or full cost of the original booked holiday.
“This has all the hallmarks of the same government indecision during the early COVID-19 outbreaks in specific regions and a lack of any clear guidance or travel restrictions on school groups and individuals travelling or not travelling to countries where there was a COVID health risk.
“The government’s inept handling of travel has been all over the place with new visitors and returnees up to recently not having any restrictions when entering Ireland.
“There needs to be greater clarity from government now as we enter the summer period.
“Clearly, circumstances have changed completely with this new 14-day quarantine and those people who booked holidays in a different time need assurances that they can have the legal option of obtaining refunds from travel companies in the event of them not being able to travel due to the newly announced restrictions.
“Irish consumers should not be the fall guy once again for government indecision and a complete lack of clarity regarding their travel in and out of Ireland.”