CITIZENS OF popular Irish tourist destinations have voiced their concerns amid claims that tourists are continuing to visit the country from the US.
Multiple reports have come from locals in Killarney, County Kerry, of tourists coming from abroad to visit the popular tourist spot, and further stories of lost tourists with maps walking around Dublin, and UK-registered cars travelling to Ireland via the ferry service continue to circulate on social media.
Cork radio station RedFM held a segment on their call show where one man, Stephen, said he and his family were in Killarney and saw a "group of 8 American tourists" queuing for ice cream.
"I decided to start a conversation and asked them were they were stuck here for the lockdown," he told the show. "I was shocked when they said 'No, we are here on vacation, we only arrived on Friday!'"
"What is the point of us all doing our best when the planes coming in are full?" he asked.
"Americans will come on holidays and some are already here."
One Irish woman wrote on Twitter that she flew to the US from Dublin-- where she lives full-time-- on Sunday, and the "plane was full of Americans returning from Irish holidays".
"One asked me if I 'enjoyed my vacation'."
Another woman stated that she met six American tourists in Kenmare over the weekend who told her they had flown into Belfast and rented a car to tour Ireland for several weeks, while one man told the Neil Prendeville show that he had met UK tourists on the Dingle Peninsula.
TOURISTS IN KERRY - "SCANDALOUS & UPSETTING" We're speaking to Prionsias who says he's met tourists on the Dingle peninsula from the UK who are not isolating, he told Neil it was "absolutely scandalous and very upsetting." #NpRedfm
— Neil Prendeville (@NeilRedFM) July 2, 2020
The USA remains the global epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic, with over 2.6 million confirmed cases and 128,000 deaths, and several states reporting huge surges in numbers, sparking fears that Ireland could be facing a second wave of infections.
Ireland entered Phase 3 of easing lockdown restrictions on Monday, 29 June which has seen thousands of hotels, bars and restaurants reopening, but Irish people are encouraged not to holiday abroad and to have 'staycations' instead.
Flights into Ireland have been ongoing throughout the pandemic, and anyone arriving into the country must fill out a form stating where they will be self-isolating for two weeks, but checks are not always carried out and there are fears some are flouting the rules.