The Irish government has promised to crack down on travellers from the Middle East who use the “Dublin dodge” to enter the UK and evade coronavirus restrictions.
The number of people flying to Dublin from Dubai has increased since the UK added the United Arab Emirates to a travel ban list last month, prompting concern that passengers are using Ireland’s capital as a back door to Britain.
“If that’s been abused by UK citizens coming back from other parts of the world to try to take advantage of that issue then we will close that door by ensuring that there is communications with airlines and with UK authorities to make sure that they know exactly where people are coming from through our airports,” Ireland’s foreign minister, Simon Coveney, told RTÉ.
However, Irish and British citizens can still travel between Ireland and the UK due to the common travel area’s freedom of movement rules.
The Sunday Independent reported that in recent days hundreds of British passengers have been using Dublin as a backdoor, prompting concern among airport staff that they could be exposed to new variants.
It is the latest version of the Dublin dodge, a term coined last spring when travellers started to use the Irish capital as a way to enter the UK and avoid Covid restrictions and guidance.