Aer Lingus welcomes the introduction of a testing regime to facilitate the ‘European Traffic Light’ system. We note that as of 8th November, the requirement for those arriving from orange coded areas to restrict their movements can be waived, if they have a negative Covid-19 test result up to three days before arrival.
It represents a positive initial step towards facilitating increased safe international travel, which is critical to the Irish economy.
While noting that the Government has initially established a PCR testing solution, Aer Lingus believes that going forward pre-departure tests should be based on a rapid and affordable testing solution.
Aer Lingus believes that a rapid antigen testing regime is the most appropriate standard in this regard. Only a rapid and affordable testing solution will facilitate a meaningful increase in safe international travel. Similarly, a rapid and affordable testing solution must be introduced to facilitate travel from red coded countries / areas allowing a lifting of the requirement to restrict movements.
Aer Lingus also welcomes the exemption for passengers with an essential function from the requirement to undergo restricted movement or testing while exercising this essential function and notes that this includes critical occupations, students and persons travelling for imperative family or business reasons. This exemption will allow passengers with an essential function to travel without restriction.
Aer Lingus believes that following the initial implementation of the measures, the fortnightly review process should over time lead to a streamlining of the processes and allow a meaningful increase in safe international travel. This streamlining should lead to a limited form of random rapid testing for passengers arriving from higher risk ‘orange’ coded countries or regions, and pre-departure testing for countries or regions classified as ‘red’.
Aer Lingus believes the adoption of the Traffic Light System will enable customers to book with confidence for travel in 2021.