Nearly 136,000 people flew into Ireland as the Christmas third wave of Covid-19 virus took off

Arrivals rose by 60% Central Statistics Office figures show

Conor Ganly

Reporter:

Conor Ganly

Covid-19 Covid-19 Covid-19

Travel into Ireland rose by 60% between November and December

Nearly 136,000 people flew into Ireland during December and arrivals into the country jumped by almost 60% on November, as the third wave of the Covid-19 virus took off in Ireland.

New Central Statistics Office figures show that flights into Ireland represented the bulk of travel into Ireland during the last month of 2016. The remainder of the 164,400 arrived by sea into the country.

The figures show that arrivals were 89% down on December 2019 when more than 1.3 million entered the country.

The figures also show that more people left Ireland than arrived in the country around Christmas. Nearly 179,000 went abroad as the third wave of infections began to emerge. Of these, 156,000 left by plane.

As restrictions eased with the lifting of the Level 5 October to December restrictions,  the CSO says overseas travel to and from Ireland increased in December 2020. 

The figures show that over 65,000 people arrived from Britain in December as the UK variant had been shown to be more infectious than the original strain. MORE BELOW TABLE 

The CSO says December's figures compare with 103,900 arrivals and 96,800 departures in November 2020, increases of 58.3% and 84.7% respectively.

Apart from the UK, the CSO says that of those arriving in Ireland, 79,100 (48.1%) by continental routes, 11,700 (7.1%) by transatlantic routes and 8,500 (5.1%) by other overseas routes. The corresponding figures for those departing Ireland were 54,800 (30.6%), 107,100 (59.9%), 7,900 (4.4%) and 9,100 (5.1%) respectively.

The CSO says the most important staging countries for persons travelling overseas to Ireland were Great Britain (65,100), the Netherlands (14,700) and Spain (13,100). The most important staging countries for persons travelling overseas from Ireland were Great Britain (54,800), Spain (19,200) and Poland (17,200).

In the year 2020, 4,460,200 persons arrived in Ireland from overseas and 4,452,600 persons departed. These represent decreases of 77.9% and 78.0% respectively compared to 2019.

The Government has introduced new restrictions on travel in 2021.