ALMOST HALF of those who flew into Dublin Airport on Tuesday were returning from a sun holiday, the Taoiseach has said.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin was speaking to a parliamentary party meeting which included Fianna Fáil TD, Senators and MEPs when the subject of international travel was raised.
According to RTÉ News, Mr Martin told the meeting that on Tuesday, 800 people arrived into Dublin Airport, with 397-- almost exactly half-- returning from holiday spots such as Lanzarote.
Of those 800 people, 542 were Irish citizens.
Mr Martin's comments come after the Irish public reacted with fury to a segment on RTÉ's Prime Time on Tuesday night, which showed a number of tanned holidaymakers returning to locked-down Ireland from Lanzarote.
Addressing the meeting, the Taoiseach said Ireland would be tightening its rules on international travel, though is so far still shying away from a New Zealand-like Zero-Covid approach.
He said the Government will likely add more countries to the list which requires a mandatory hotel quarantine up arrival in Ireland; this list currently includes South Africa and Brazil, where new variants of the disease have been identified.
Visa-free travel from 11 South American countries and from South Africa into Ireland has also been stopped, however Mr Martin said there are no plans to introduce mandatory quarantine for any EU country.
In the Dáil earlier yesterday afternoon, the Taoiseach said he was aware that a "significant" number of Irish people were jetting off for sun holidays, and said they should stop.
Under current lockdown rules, people in Ireland face a fine if they travel further than 5km from their homes for any reason not deemed essential.
Garda checkpoints have been stationed near Dublin Airport.