IRISH social media is ablaze with controversy as many users slam tourists returning home from holidays in Spain as Ireland remains in a critical Covid lockdown.
On Tuesday (January 26th) evening, Ireland’s flagship current affairs programme Prime Time sent a reporter to the arrivals terminal of Dublin airport to meet travellers returning home from the Canary Island of Lanzarote.
Although the Irish government currently prohibits non-essential travel, some holidaymakers were happy to speak to RTE for their report. One man told the broadcaster that he wasn’t worried that he had caught Covid as “they’re really strict over there – bar’s close at 6 o’clock on the dot and there’s a curfew at 10 o’clock”.
This hasn’t stopped scores of Irish twitter users taking to the platform to slam the holidaymakers for making the inessential journey as Ireland remains in strict lockdown due to a huge surge in Covid cases after Christmas.
“I can’t travel out to my parents and brothers and sisters (who live in Dublin!!) but these people are coming back from Lanzarote?” tweeted one user, while another wrote that it was “Terrible and maddening” to see the holidaymakers returning home.
In the report, another traveller was asked if he’d seen many of his compatriots in the Canaries, to which he replied “it’s all Irish over there”. The backlash against the holidaymakers comes after Ireland rolled in new travel restrictions requiring negative PCR tests from all new arrivals.
Responding to the Prime Time report, Ireland’s Minister for Public Expenditure Michael McGrath said that the country’s travel restrictions were “really significant” and asserted that the holidaymakers “are breaking the law” if their journeys were not for essential purposes.
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