Ireland’s foreign affairs department helped more than 8,000 Irish citizens return home safely from 126 countries during the Covid-19 pandemic, the minister has said.
imon Coveney said that Ireland has also allocated over 140 million euro to the global Covid-19 response.
Mr Coveney told the Oireachtas foreign affairs committee: “The outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic has left no corner of the globe untouched and the council has addressed it frequently.
“In the early months of the pandemic, we (EU Foreign Affairs Council) focused on co-ordinating consular assistance to EU citizens.
“The council also discussed how the EU could step up support for vulnerable countries.
“A co-ordinated Team Europe response package has provided over 35 billion euro to date.”
It was confirmed earlier this week that people travelling to Ireland from “red” listed regions will no longer have to restrict their movements once they receive a negative Covid-19 test after arriving in the country.
The test must be taken five days after arrival in Ireland.
The new travel rules are due to come into effect from midnight on November 29.
It gives a glimmer of hope to families hoping to be reunited at Christmas, as it limits the number of days people have to spend in self-isolation.
The government agreed the changes at a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday in a bid to bring Ireland in line with the EU’s traffic light system.
In a statement, the Government said: “From midnight November 29, arrivals from an EU red region will not be expected to restrict movements following receipt of a negative/not-detected result from a Covid-19 PCR test taken a minimum of five days after arrival in Ireland.”
It means if people receive a negative PCR test they will be free to move around rather than having to isolate their movement for 14 days.
The Government said this provision will also be available to people arriving from orange regions who may not have availed of a pre-departure test.
The Government has also given the green light to allow Covid-19 testing for passengers travelling through DAA airports in Dublin and Cork.
Passengers will be able to avail of tests before and after their flight at private testing facilities.
Tests are expected to cost between 100 euro and 200 euro.