A Green(ish) List

It’s summer time – and there’s huge pressure on governments to decide on travel rules following COVID-19.

Many countries are advising against travel, but still permitting it. The catch is you’ll need to quarantine for 2 weeks, unless the country you’re arriving from is on a ‘Green’ list.

Generally governments will decide who’s on the list based whether the other country has higher or lower levels of COVID-19, but politics being politics, there will be other considerations also.

Ireland and the UK are part of the Common Travel Area, so this leads to complications – particuarly as the rate in England is much higher than elsewhere.

On the 21st of July the Irish Government published their list – and they seem to have followed some pretty straightforward rules. Every country on the list has lower levels of COVID-19.

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However, NI has some very different rules. They have decided to use the same list as England – despite England having a case rate almost 3 times that of NI. It means that many countries on the list have much higher rates than NI.

In fact, based on population, 51% of the countries on the list have a higher rate of COVID than NI.

Incredibly, Luxembourg’s rate is 25 times higher than NI (although Luxembourg is a bit of an anomaly).

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It means that we now have very different travel rules in the North & South of the island.

Let’s compare this with England, where they have the same list as NI, but only 19% of the contries have higher rates than England.

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Lists are to be reviewed on a regular basis – so expect things to change over the coming weeks.