The Irish Travel Agents Association (ITAA) is calling for a ‘consistent and uniform approach’ to pre-flight testing, following the Irish Government’s decision to require a negative COVID-19 test from all travellers into Ireland.
Under the new rules, anyone flying into Ireland will be required to produce a negative PCR test result received within three days before their arrival, in an effort to reduce the increase in Covid-19 cases in Ireland.
ITAA CEO Pat Dawson said: “First and foremost, the safety and comfort of our customers is paramount to all ITAA member travel agents.
“Some countries have already introduced pre-flight testing, and as our numbers escalate, it is important that we do the same for all arrivals into Ireland.
“It is essential that a global standard is developed and maintained for these tests so that all relevant parties can adhere to testing protocols.”
The ITAA say that they believe that this type of testing will help to reduce the risk of transmitting the virus and work towards re-establishing global air connectivity after a difficult year for the travel industry.
However, the group have emphasised that standardisation of testing regulations across Europe is a necessity. They also believe that using quick, accurate, easy to use and affordable testing measures could have a positive effect on air travel in the coming weeks and months.
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Dawson continued: “The current travel restrictions provide no relief to either inbound or outbound travel, which will have a knock on effect on the Irish travel industry well into the future.
“We expect that there would be certain challenges involved in integrating these kinds of tests into the travel process; however we believe that this method is worth implementing in order to restore consumer confidence in international travel.
“Irish people love to travel; as soon as it is declared safe to travel again we believe that consumer confidence will be restored.
“Until that happens, we must look into alternative measures to ensure that passengers have a safe and comfortable journey.”