5977 dublin airport

An Irish Christmas Dunkirk

Dublin Airport earlier today. RollingNews.ie photo

By Irish Echo Staff

Flights and ferries are likely to be involved in the repatriation of hundreds of Irish residents hoping to return to Ireland from Britain., RTE was reporting today.

A meeting was taking place Monday afternoon between Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney and Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan to finalize the repatriation operation.

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Officials met met morning to work through the necessary consular information as well as liaising with airlines.

65 flights from Britain have been cancelled Monday and Tuesday, leaving many people stranded, the RTE report stated.

The repatriation will be targeted at those Irish residents coming home, as well as those transiting through the UK. It will not deal with Irish people based in Britain who had hoped to return for Christmas, the report stated.

Distinguishing between the precise nature of travelers might well pose difficulties.

Precise numbers of those to be transported to Ireland have not been finalized but it is believed to be in the hundreds, the RTE report continued.

And it added: It is understood the Department of Foreign Affairs is examining the possibility of using ferries to bring home people who are in Britain with a vehicle.

Meanwhile, it is expected that the 48-hour ban on travel from Britain will be extended through Christmas. The EU imposed a travel ban after reports of a new Covid-19 strain spreading rapidly through the population in Britain.

The new Covid worry comes as the EU has authorized a start for Covid vaccinations. Vaccinating began in the UK, including Northern Ireland, last week.

Government ministers will also have to sign off on the exact nature and timing of post-Christmas restrictions, the RTE report stated.

However, Minister Coveney said Monday that a planned inter-county travel ban in Ireland itself is likely to be brought forward from January 6.