Fine Gael has called for emergency travel certificates to be produced under the provisions of the Passport Act 2008, for travellers whose passports have expired and are awaiting new ones to be sent to them, due to a current backlog.
However, the Department of Foreign Affairs has dismissed calls for emergency travel certificates to be issued, saying there are no plans to introduce emergency passport extensions.
The department said the proposals held little scope and could not be extended. A spokesperson said, An Emergency Travel Certificate only allows for a single, one-way trip. Furthermore, they are not accepted in the USA. Under international agreements, the maximum validity of any passports is 10 years, and therefore cannot be extended.
Irish citizens can travel to the UK using a valid form of photo ID instead of a passport; but different travel companies operate using different requirements.
Aer Lingus will allow passengers to travel to the UK with some form of official photo ID, such as a drivers licence; a government issued ID card, a health insurance or social security card as long as they display a photo. People aged 16 years old or under do not require a photo ID if they are travelling to the UK with their parent/guardian under Aer Lingus rules.
Yet Ryanair insist that all passengers travelling to the UK must have a valid passport and have said there is no question of them changing their position on the matter.
A Ryanair spokesperson said, As an airline flying to more than 26 countries and carrying over 70 nationalities daily, there is no question of our agreed passport requirement to be altered or waived. Its the Governments job to issue passports, and not Ryanairs job to cover for Government incompetence.
Ireland decided to opt out of the Schengen Agreement and maintaining border controls with other EU countries, meaning Irish citizens travelling to countries in Europe except the UK, will be required to hold a valid passport.
Travellers will be left further disappointed by the news that they will be unlikely to claim back travel insurance through travel insurance claims, which usually only cover compensation due to injury, illness or death.
A spokesperson for the Irish Insurance Federation said, The cancellation of your holiday due to failure to obtain a passport is generally not covered under travel insurance policies.