Displaying items by tag: covid19

March 2022 has seen many changes in Ireland, there are now no public health measures in place in order to mitigate against COVID-19.

This has allowed people to attend large sporting events, music concerts and to travel through Ireland with no forms to fill in - the useless Passenger Locator Form is gone, unfortunately the mask-mandate has gone too meaning that it is up to the individual as to wear a mask or not in indoor settings.

And to complicate things further PCR tests are now virtually impossible to get unless you pay a private provider meaning that positive case numbers are largely underreported. Combining the over-the-counter lateral flow or rapid antigen tests with PCR tests, reported positive tests are three times more now than at the start of the month.

Austria is about to reintroduce mask-wearing requirements as positive numbers increase rapidly there, the Scottish Government have kept their requirements in place until at least April 4th and other European countries such as Italy (until May1st) still require FFP2 masks in public indoor and transport settings.

In Ireland, unfortunately, the Irish Government have decided to leave the decision to the individual, which means virtually no-one wearing a mask in public settings.

This increase in cases, of people not taking basic precautions has led to the rather embarrassing spectacle of the Taoiseach being quarantined on Saint Patrick's Day in Washington DC, indeed he will be stuck there until the end of March.

As of yet, Ireland has not seen increases in intensive care hospitalisations but those do tend to lag.

Ireland is still a safe place to visit and with plenty of open spaces in the countryside there is an easy escape from the crowds.

Join me, Panoramic Ireland, to photograph in Ireland.

Published in Guide

Go Mall / Slow - It kind of looks like travel is beginning to come back to a sort of normality in Ireland, from Monday 10th May 2021.

With an incredibly slow COVID-19 vaccine rollout and the world's longest lockdown, ranked also as the most strict in Europe, next week (from Monday 10th of May) sees Ireland allow nationwide travel.

For most of the past five months a five kilometre travel limit has been in place and most of the economy has been at a standstill.

Published in Miscellaneous

Northern Ireland's vaccination program for COVID-19 is gathering pace, with over 700,000 or close to 50% of the population having had at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine.

Some restrictions are lifting or easing soon, for instance an opening of many shops and businesses with schools also returning from the 12th of April.

However, tourism remains restricted with Panoramic Ireland's tours unavailable since mid-October 2020. Hotels are not currently open to non-essential guests. Close contact services also remain restricted and only up to ten people from two households can currently meet up outdoors. And from 12/04 there will still be recommendations to "stay local".

This means that, for the moment, Panoramic Ireland's photo tours remain unavailable to book for any period before, at the earliest, June 2021 including at the Giant's Causeway UNESCO World Heritage Site pictured above.

Published in Guide

Ireland is currently on a Level 5 lockdown due to the COVID-19 / Coronavirus pandemic, the country had one of the best - lowest - rates of infection in Europe until recent weeks where we unfortunately saw the 14-day incidence rate become the highest in the world.

Now as Ireland grapples to try and reduce one of the world's highest 14-day incidence rates of Coronavirus infections, it would seem that travel will not be similar to what we call normal until late summer, most likely autumn, of 2021 but let's follow the path towards the rainbow.

They say you'll find gold at the end of a rainbow, that certainly hasn't literally happened to me but there is visual gold in rainbows. Here a faint double rainbow is visible to the right of the image.

Patience and optimism is a key attribute in any photographic endeavour, particularly in landscape photography.

And for that reason, Panoramic Ireland are taking no-deposit required, freely cancellable bookings for 2021 and 2022 - private tours and workshops in Ireland.

Published in Guide
Thursday, 10 September 2020 14:15

Coronavirus / COVID-19 Update - Ireland September 2020

As of September 10th 2020, Ireland still remains the most difficult country in Europe to get into and out of.

International travel is currently still possible but with a mandatory 14 day quarantine and no allowance made for negative tests, the number of visitors coming to Ireland has fallen significantly and the Irish government has asked Irish people not to travel for non-essential reasons such as for holidays.

Pubs in Ireland are currently still closed, except for those that can serve food - a substantial meal. And although a date has been set for the 21st of September, in the same breath members of the government were advising that this date might not be possible due to public health advice.

Dublin and Limerick are experiencing large increases of cases, more so than the three counties of Laois, Offaly and Kildare that had restrictions of movement placed on them for several weeks in August.

It seems like the Irish government are still working on a county by county basis rather than a municipal basis. Restricting movement at a town or district level would make much more sense for those who know Ireland.

For instance, should an outbreak occur in Portumna, County Galway the current policy would involve restrictions on movement in the whole of that large county, Ireland's second largest. That means a 2.5-hour drive away in Clifden, there would also be restrictions yet in this majestic small town, pictured, nestled behind the Twelve Bens beside the Atlantic Ocean there may no increase, even a decrease in cases or none at all. To put this in context, Portumna is only a 2 hour 10 minutes drive from Dublin, the Irish capital and the same journey time to Cork.

So it is obvious to many that a county by county basis is not a workable option for lockdowns or restrictions on movement in Ireland as schools and the economy, pubs and international travel reopens.

What the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic has shown is that travel is certainly now more difficult even to standard, normal, safe destinations. It is possible to be faced with cancellations, delays and restrictions without warning.

It's always worth having good travel insurance and never more important than now so check out this roundup of the best deals from Money.

Indeed Matt Damon who is now filming The Last Duel in Cahir, County Tipperary remained in Ireland during the first lockdown in Spring 2020.

Clifden, majestically nestled between the Twelve Bens and the Atlantic
Clifden, majestically nestled between the Twelve Bens and the Atlantic in Connemara, County Galway
Published in Guide

Perhaps in order to allow the good folks of South County Dublin to visit IKEA, the Irish Government today announced that restrictions due to Coronavirus / COVID-19 would now be relaxed to a county travel basis.

So, from 8th June Irish people can travel freely within their own county as if rural Ireland lives in some kind of GAA theme park - sure why would a resident of Limerick, situated right on the border of County Clare need to travel more than 20km into the neighbouring county?

Or indeed someone from Clonmel, the chief town of Tipperary and situated on the border with Waterford, why would they need to travel more than 20km into the mountainous county just across the River Suir?

Is it because the powers that be in Dublin think that residents of rural Ireland only operate, like in GAA circles, in some kind of tribal mindset where they whip out the Up Laois flags to celebrate being able to travel in some parochially patriotic fashion?

Published in Guide
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