Non-es­sen­tial air travel

The Irish Times - - Comment & Letters -

Sir, – Surely one of the most in­ti­mate gath­er­ings of strangers hap­pens on an air­plane where so­cial dis­tanc­ing is all but im­pos­si­ble. Peo­ple sit shoul­der to shoul­der for four to five hours. They brush past each other on the way to or from the toi­let.

Win­dows can­not be opened. The air in a plane is far from fresh, as it has to be re­cir­cu­lated, and it is com­mon for trav­ellers to end up with a cold or cough at the end of a plane flight, and that is in nor­mal con­di­tions.

Just get­ting on a plane flies in the face of all the rec­om­men­da­tions is­sued re­cently on safe be­hav­iour dur­ing this pan­demic. So what mad­ness is it not to pre­vent non-es­sen­tial fly­ing, as Prof Tomás Ryan points out in his ar­ti­cle “Risk-to-gain ra­tio for for­eign travel is dan­ger­ously high” (Opin­ion & Anal­y­sis, July 2nd).

The peo­ple of Ire­land have sac­ri­ficed many as­pects of daily liv­ing and obeyed Gov­ern­ment reg­u­la­tions dur­ing the pan­demic. A de­bate still goes on re­gard­ing a safe way for schools to re­open in Sep­tem­ber.

The sum­mer months give us an op­por­tu­nity to achieve an is­land free of Covid-19.

Is it too much to ask peo­ple to do with­out their for­eign sum­mer hol­i­day for the greater good of the na­tion and si­mul­ta­ne­ously sup­port the Ir­ish hos­pi­tal­ity sec­tor? – Yours, etc, KATH­LEEN FORDE, White­hall,

Dublin 9.

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