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Travel ban latest Consular flights arranged for Irish residents stranded in Britain to depart tomorrow


Stock image: Flight

Stock image: Flight

Stock image: Flight

THERE is hope for Irish residents stranded in Britain as the Government arranged at least two special flights to bring them home tomorrow.

Ireland is among a series of countries to issue travel bans from Britain amid a surge in Covid-19 cases there including a new strain of the virus.

Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney and Transport Minister Eamon Ryan this evening announced a minimum of two consular flights from Britain to Ireland for Irish residents who have become stranded.

The flights will also be accessible to Irish-bound passengers who are transiting through British airports who have also become stranded.

They will take place tomorrow evening and be operated by Irish airlines.

At least one flight will depart from London.

The other departure airport will be decided by the demand from those who contact the Department of Foreign Affairs assistance line.

The flights will be open to Irish residents and transiting passengers only.

There will be no access to people living in Britain who were planning short trips to Ireland for Christmas.

A Department of Foreign Affairs statement said: "This is because of the ongoing travel ban due to public health concerns."

Anyone eligible to travel on the consular flights are being urged to identify themselves to the Department of Foreign Affairs by calling the dedicated assistance line +353 1 6131700.

Potential passengers must be able to demonstrate their entitlement under the criteria and register to be included on the flight.

The statement said it is not possible to book these flights through any other route.

Separately, a small number of Irish residents who are stranded in Britain after taking short trips in their vehicles have also been identified.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and the Department of Transport are making arrangements with ferry companies to give these Irish residents exceptional access to ferry services that are currently for freight only in order to return home.

Again, these ferry journeys cannot be booked directly and those eligible to travel must also contact the assistance line on +353 1 613 1700.

The statement says: "It is essential that anyone who travels from Great Britain, or has travelled in recent days, self isolates for 14-days in the interest of public health."

It added: "The situation regarding further flights will be kept under review."

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