THE IRISH public have reacted with anger to a segment shown on Prime Time last night.
The RTÉ show, presented by Miriam O'Callaghan, last night focused on the calls for a Zero-Covid approach and the possibility of introducing mandatory quarantine in Ireland for passengers from abroad.
As part of the show, a presenter took to Dublin Airport where he interviewed a number of people who had just arrived into the country from popular tourist spot Lanzarote.
While most people refused to be interviewed, reporter Conor McMorrow did manage to speak to some people, including one tanned holidaymaker who said the island was safe and public health measures were strict, as all the bars closed at 6pm.
Arriving back into the country where all hospitality is closed, and bars have been shut for the better part of a year, the masked tourist said he had received a negative PCR test before his flight back to Ireland, a mandatory measure recently introduced in an attempt to slow the spread of Covid-19.
He told the reporter that it was "all Irish" in Lanzarote.
The reaction to the segment was quick and angry, and 'Lanzarote' began trending on Twitter as viewers responded to what many called the "selfishness" of tourists heading abroad.
"Sweet suffering Jesus," one woman wrote. "All the Irish people coming back from Lanzarote last night on [Prime Time] and not wanting to be interviewed or identified ... and strolling on out the doors of Dublin airport, unimpeded ... I despair".
Sweet suffering Jesus - all the Irish people coming back from lanzarote last night on @RTE_PrimeTime and not wanting to be interviewed or identified - hmm - and strolling on out the doors of Dublin airport, unimpeded ...I despair
— New Year, New Mam (@TheresaNewIdea) January 26, 2021
Sinn Féin TD Martin Browne said "serious questions need to be asked [about[ how people are able to book holidays to Lanzarote during a pandemic.
"Airlines knowingly facilitating this public health risk need to be held as accountable as the people travelling."
Regardless if Zero Covid will work or not there’s the fairness element of it.
I can’t go beyond 5km to see my family, yet there are flights coming in from Lanzarote etc daily. Fuck holidaymakers and make them pay for a fortnights quarantine,
— Alan Kinsella (@electionlit) January 26, 2021
Journalist Elaine Loughlin noted that "on the day we surpassed 3,000 Covid deaths these people were arriving home from Laznarote with a fresh tan".
And writer Donal O'Keefe said "If you're the type of selfish d*** who goes on a sun holiday to Lanzarote in the middle of a Level 5 national lockdown, I'm not a hundred percent convinced you can be trusted to voluntarily quarantine for a fortnight afterward."
If you’re the type of selfish dick who goes on a sun holiday to Lanzarote in the middle of a level 5 national lockdown, I’m not a hundred percent convinced you can be trusted to voluntarily quarantine for a fortnight afterward. #rtept
— Donal O'Keeffe (@Donal_OKeeffe) January 26, 2021
One woman, Síona, said "the fact that people came into Ireland today on a flight from Lanzarote *very clearly* returning from holiday travel" 'sickened' her, while another said "I couldn't physically go to my own granny's funeral ... but people can go travel on holidays and feel no guilt."
Another man simply wrote "I. JUST. F*****G. CANNOT DO THIS ANYMORE."
Lanzarote, unreal. I'm 10k from Tramore and I'd love nothing more than a walk on the beach yet people can fly in from a sun holiday. What a joke#rtept
— Orla Doyle (@MrsDeise) January 26, 2021
Others who were interviewed as part of the show included a businessman and the group leader of 30 Spanish students who were returning after Christmas to continue their studies-- the group leader said all 30 students would be quarantining for two weeks with their host families.
Under current Covid-19 rules, people in Ireland are told not to travel beyond 5km of their homes unless for essential reasons such as food shopping or travelling to work which cannot be done from home.
These restrictions, which include a total ban on household visits, are set to continue until at least 5 March.