CEO of Shannon Group, Mary Considine has called for the immediate lifting of travel restrictions and the fourteen day quarantine period which would pave the way for summer holidays abroad.

Ms Considine has spoken out following the publication of the interim draft Aviation Recovery Taskforce report which was presented to the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross (IND) on Tuesday.

Four key recommendations have been outlined in the report. This includes the easing of travel restrictions by July 1st with the report stating that Ireland is “significantly behind” other EU countries in lifting all border restrictions. Clarification and the lifting of the quarantine period is also sought by the same date. “A 14-day quarantine period makes non-essential and discretionary travel challenging, and inhibits business related travel, which is critical for the Irish economy. The Taskforce notes that implementation of efficient test and trace regimes can provide effective alternatives to the current 14 day quarantine measure”.

A national code of practice for Safe Air Travel has been suggested by the taskforce which would apply the Aviation Health Safety Protocols developed by the European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC) and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) in the Irish context. Once again, they have requested the conclusion of protocols by July 1st.

Employment in the aviation needs to be supported by the continuation of the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme, the taskforce has recommended. “The reduction in aviation activity over the summer will make the traditional loss-making winter period in aviation particularly challenging”.

Speaking following the publication of Tuesday’s interim report, Mary Considine stated, “The interim report recognises the critical role that airports, including Shannon, play in supporting the regional and national economy and promoting balanced regional development”.

“As an island nation, aviation is the lifeline that connects us to the global economy and how quickly we recover as we emerge from this crisis will depend on the recovery of the aviation sector. The aviation industry is in crisis and urgently needs immediate Government support to continue to fulfil its role in providing vital air connectivity to regions which underpin business and tourism and help drive the wider national economic recovery,” the Lissycasey native added.

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