Ireland, like many countries right now, has restrictions on travel within and departing from their country. This is in an effort to keep the interaction amongst people low as the virus numbers climb in places around the world. It is also a way that some countries are using to get around the inability to deny their own citizens entry into the country. Yet, some Irish travelers are finding a way around this.
How People Are Getting Out of Ireland, In Spite of Restrictions
Part of the reason that countries may put a ban on travel from their country is because countries can close borders to those coming from other countries but they always need to allow their own citizens to reenter. So, if they can prevent their citizens from departing, they do not have to deal with their reentry – and possibly bringing a viral mutation into the country.
Ireland has fines in place, like many countries in Europe, for those that break the restrictions. The fine, at present, is €500 but it is expected to soon go up to €2,000 as people continue to get around the restriction. How it is working is that Ireland allows people to travel for emergency reasons – or for medical treatment.
People that are wanting to get to warmer destinations and vacations are using that to book dental appointments in places like the Canary Islands. Dental offices throughout Spain have been getting a big spike in appointments from people coming from Ireland. This allows them to show proof of a medical appointment to police so they can leave Ireland.
Of course, most of these people never even show up for their dental appointments, simply using it as a means to circumvent the travel restrictions. Apparently, the police can fine travelers but cannot stop them from boarding and since airlines continue to fly in and out of Ireland, it is fairly easy for these travelers to make their way to a vacation destination.
This is also very difficult on all the dental practices who are seeing their schedules fill – and then never actually get the clients to actually show, which means they do not see their money either. For this reason, many offices in the Canary Islands have stopped taking these dental appointments from people from Ireland. Even better is that they are requiring them to pay up front (which some would still likely pay as a way to get out of Ireland).
People have been using this medical exception to head to places all over Spain as well as Turkey and Morocco. But, some practices are saying that they will report the no-shows to authorities so maybe this loophole is close to closing.
HT: Politico EU