Department of Foreign Affairs assists in the return of over 8,000 people during the COVID19 pandemic
Today, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Defence, Simon Coveney, T.D., confirmed that the Department of Foreign Affairs advised and assisted over 8,000 people, across five continents, to return home during the COVID19 pandemic.
The Minister stated that:
We cannot forget that this has been an extremely stressful time for our citizens at home and abroad. Our consular team at home and our network of Embassies and Consulates around the world have worked continuously throughout the crisis to provide our citizens with information and assistance in this unprecedented global situation. Advice and assistance was provided in relation to commercial flights wherever these were available, for flights chartered by the EU and other partners where possible or, in a few exceptional cases, for flights we chartered directly ourselves. These figures represent a mammoth amount of work by our consular and embassy networks. In some cases, this work remains ongoing as citizens continue to find themselves in difficulty abroad.
It is important to remember that the COVID19 pandemic continues to accelerate internationally, and there are significant risks associated with international travel. Anyone who chooses to travel abroad in these circumstances, in full knowledge of the risks, including to their own health and to public health in Ireland upon their return, as well as potential lockdowns and other restrictions overseas, should be aware of the limitations of any consular assistance that might be provided.
For the moment, the Government continues to advise against all non-essential travel overseas. This includes Great Britain but does not apply to Northern Ireland. This advice is kept under review and will be updated in line with any further decisions on the roadmap for the resumption of safe international travel.
All the latest information on travel advice on COVID-19 is available at www.dfa.ie, @dfatravelwise and on our TravelWise App.