Tuesday, 29 September 2020

Ceisteanna (410)

Danny Healy-Rae

Ceist:

410. Deputy Danny Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs if clarification will be provided to persons (details supplied) due to travel to a country which has now been removed from the Green list in view of the fact they are unsure if they are covered by their travel insurance to travel; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26306/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Foreign)

I can advise the Deputy that my Department publishes Travel Advice for over 200 countries to provide an objective assessment of the risks individuals could face if travelling overseas, with a view to helping them to make informed decisions for themselves. The advice is based on consultation with our Embassies and Consulates on the ground, the relevant local authorities in each country and our international partners, together with our domestic partners where appropriate. In the context of COVID-19 and the priority of protecting public health, we have worked particularly closely with the Department of Health and the HSE.

On 15 September, as part of its medium-term plan for living with COVID-19, the Government agreed that Ireland should broadly support the European Commission proposal for a common approach to travel within the EU / EEA, which is currently under discussion in Brussels. The Government also agreed that, pending the outcome of the discussions on the EU approach, Ireland’s ‘Green List’ would be updated to include EU / EEA countries with a 14-day cumulative disease incidence rate of 25 or less per 100,000, based on data provided by the European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC). The Green List is to be reviewed every Thursday, with any changes taking effect from the following Monday morning. In line with the Government decision, the list including any updates are made available on my Department's website (www.dfa.ie). We continue to advise against non-essential travel overseas, other than to countries on the ‘Green List’ where the ‘normal precautions’ security status rating applies. 

The Travel Advice published by my Department is intended to help citizens make informed decisions for themselves when planning a trip overseas.  As the Deputy will appreciate, and as commercial entities will be aware, issues relating to terms and conditions of flights, holiday packages, insurance policies or refunds are not within the remit of my Department, and these should be pursued directly with the airline, tour operator or insurer. Any citizens seeking further information in relation to their consumer rights would be advised to contact the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission.