Nearly 50,000 trips made to Ireland by residents of worst-hit coronavirus European countries just before epidemic

Conor Ganly

Reporter:

Conor Ganly

Nearly 50,000 trips made to Ireland by residents of worst-hit coronavirus European countries just before epidemic

Coronavirus / Covid-19: Events are being cancelled or postponed

Nearly 50,000 trips were made by residents of the two EU countries worst hit by the coronavirus Covid-19 in the month before the coronavirus emerged as a deadly epidemic in Europe.

Irish Central Statistics Office figures show that 19,700 trips were made by residents of Italy to Ireland during February. More than 26,000 people travelled from Spain.

The first Covid-19 case was recorded in Italy on January 31. Since then more than 7,500 people have died and over 74,000 infections have been confirmed.

The next worst-hit country was Spain from where 26,100 trips were made to Ireland by residents of the country in February. More than 56,000 people have tested positive for the virus and over 4,000 people have died from the disease in Spain.

There were 26,700 trips by people residing in France, the third worst-hit country in the EU. It has more than 25,000 cases confirmed with over 1,300 deaths.

In total, 615,200 trips were made to Ireland in February by people residing around the world. It was the busiest February for inward travel to the country for a number of years.

A total of 282,100 trips were made from people living in Great Britain. There were 38,100 visits made by residents of Germany. 

The figures show that 81,300 trips were made by people living in the USA or Canada. 

More than 559,000 were made by Irish residents abroad during February.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade advises against all non-essential travel overseas at least until March 29. This advice came into operation for France and Spain in early March.