ITAA Advice to Travellers regarding Coronavirus

25 February 2020

The ITAA have issued an updated statement about Coronavirus

Dublin 25th February 2020   The Irish Travel Agents Association (ITAA) is advising that Irish travellers and holidaymakers follow the advice of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) when travelling overseas.  They are also calling on the public to be pragmatic about their holiday bookings.

John Spollen, President of the ITAA said, “This is a fast moving situation. Our advice is to speak to your travel agent and get good advice from the experts. ITAA members are monitoring the situation on behalf of their clients on a day to day, hour by hour basis on what is a fluid situation. The health and welfare of our customers is paramount and we are ready to advise them, updating the situation when the Department of Foreign Affairs updates us.”

He continued, “We would ask that travellers ensure they have adequate travel insurance. Follow advice of local authorities on the ground and take all preventative measures as recommended.”

The ITAA is advising travellers to read the Department of Foreign Affairs travel advice for the country that you are travelling to, which includes entry requirements and a link to download the DFA Travelwise smartphone app that provides specific travel health advice for individual countries. Travelwise advises that travellers currently in countries that are reporting cases of Novel Coronavirus, otherwise known as Coronavirus or COVID-19, should follow local public health advice. Travellers should keep up to date on advice for the country they are visiting during their visit.

The ITAA also advises that holidaymakers ensure that they have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) and also obtain comprehensive travel insurance before travelling, which will cover all overseas medical costs, including medical repatriation/evacuation. Affected holidaymakers in the country are advised to follow the advice of the Department of Foreign Affairs, local authorities and accommodation providers.

Enhanced health screening procedures have been put in place at arrival and departure areas in many countries. Travellers should comply with these processes and take relevant preventative measures to reduce the risk of exposure. The ITAA also advises that holidaymakers practice the following precautions to reduce the general risk of acute respiratory infections while travelling:

  • travellers with symptoms of acute respiratory infection should practice cough etiquette (maintain distance, cover coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues or clothing, and wash hands).
  • wash hands frequently, especially after direct contact with ill people or their environment;
  • avoid close contact with people suffering from acute respiratory infections;
  • avoid close contact with live or dead farm or wild animals;

Additional information can be found via the following links

World Health Organisation