Leaving Cert Students Looking At "Green Lists" For Potential Holiday Destinations

Leaving Cert Students Looking At "Green Lists" For Potential Holiday Destinations

Leaving Cert students are looking at "green lists" to choose their Leaving Cert holiday destinations, according to a travel agent.

Eimear Hannon, of Hannon Travel, told RTE Radio 1's Brendan O'Connor that Leaving Certificate students are planning on travelling abroad despite the global Covid-19 pandemic.

This news comes as some typical holiday hotspots are likely to be ruled out of Ireland's green list. The green list it to be published later today.

"I would say in the last couple of days that the realisation has reached into them that, basically, this is not going to happen," Hannon said. "The kids decided that we're going to go to Portugal, we're going to go here, we're going to go there. The big dream, the rite of passage of doing your Leaving Cert.

"But in the last couple of days, they're starting to realise that social distancing is still adhered to in these countries. They still have to obey the rules. Everything happening in Ireland is happening in these countries. They're turning around and saying 'it's not going to be like it has been in other years.'

Those travelling abroad will not have insurance cover, regardless of whether they're travelling to a country on the green list. Ms Hannon mentioned this being a factor in students' decision to travel.

"They're also realising that their insurance is not going to cover them," she said. "They're going to go away on their holidays and something happens and they're not insured."



Ms Hannon told the show that students are being "more sensible" about planning their trips abroad.

"I do see a shift in the last couple of days to now looking at 'green lists'. I have three myself wanting to go away, saying 'will Greece be on it, can we go to Malta'," Ms. Hannon said. "They're still looking at going away but they're being more sensible in the last couple of days than they have been."

In response, Brendan O'Connor said that a lot of people would think going away during the ongoing pandemic is "absolutely bonkers".

"There were people texting in yesterday who are parents of people who are planning on going to Portugal," he said. "They were saying 'can't stop them but I think it's bonkers.'"

Professor Luke O'Neill, an immunologist at Trinity College's School of Biochemistry and Immunology, said alcohol poses a huge risk.

"Alcohol is one of the biggest risk factors for spread because people drink and their risk aversion goes down," he said. "Imagine a bunch of young people in a resort somewhere. Of course they're going to take risky behaviour. That's the nature of going away, isn't it?"

Lord Mayor of Dublin, Hazel Chu, said that the fact we live in "very different times" needs to be emphasised.

"What was normal ten years ago is not normal anymore," she said. "In terms of travel, it's essential travel only, even if it's on the green list.

"My dad wants to come over [from Hong Kong] for our wedding in August. The wedding was cancelled and he still wants to come over and I just said 'no'".

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Ryan Carrick

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