Irish Daily Mail



IRISH travel agents are calling for passport services to resume, to avoid a backlog of applicatio­ns. Due to Covid-19 restrictio­ns, the Passport Office has paused its operations since the country re-entered level 5 lockdown in December.

And now the Irish Travel Agents Associatio­n is calling on the Department of Foreign Affairs to reopen the Passport Office to process outstandin­g passport applicatio­ns, to avoid chaos when travelling abroad becomes an option.

The group’s CEO, Pat Dawson said a delay in passport renewals will further impact on the tourism industry.

‘There is a pent-up demand for travel; people have been through enough during this year in lockdown, and these passport delays will only be another obstacle in the way of things returning to normal,’ he said.

Passport Online is open to all applicants, but these applicatio­ns will not be processed until the passport services resume at Level 4. Passports are still being issued in emergency situations, such as in the case of death or serious illness.

A spokeswoma­n for the Department of Foreign Affairs said: ‘When operations resume at Level 4, all applicatio­ns received via Passport Online will be processed. The Passport Service is confident, taking into account measures to ensure a safe workplace, that any Passport Online backlog can be cleared in six to eight weeks.’

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