Irish tourists continue to flock abroad to enjoy the sun and sea of Spain and other destinations in Europe – even amid the outbreak of war in the east.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine led to the biggest military action on the continent since World War II.
No-fly zones in specific countries have been discussed – and in some cases already implemented – as the rest of the world seeks to deal with the current crisis.
The Foreign Office unsurprisingly advised against traveling to Ukraine, calling on all Irish citizens in the country to “shelter in place”.
But what is the travel advice for the rest of Europe, and are “no-fly zones” likely?
Here’s everything you need to know:
Latest no-fly zones
UK Armed Forces Minister James Heappey has responded to calls for a no-fly zone over Ukraine.
Although many British MPs have called for more direct action, Mr Heappey said British troops should not deploy to Ukraine because of the risk of an “existential” escalation against nuclear-armed Russia.
“British and NATO troops should not and must not play an active role in Ukraine. We all need to be clear about the risks of miscalculation and how very quickly it could become existential if people miscalculate and things escalate unnecessarily,” he said.
He also rejected calls for the UK to impose a no-fly zone, saying it would be “somewhat difficult to implement” due to the same problem but with pilots “flying well above speed sound”.
He warned it could “trigger an Article 5 moment” with NATO allies set to come into combat with Russia.
Earlier, Tory MP Peter Bone said: “The Ukrainian Ambassador to the UK has called on us and our allies to institute a no-fly zone in Ukraine. As the ambassador said, people are dying as we speak.
“This action will be a significant and real help for the Ukrainian people.”
Meanwhile, the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has implemented a no-fly zone for US airlines and pilots from three parts of Eastern Europe.
In a statement, the organization said: “The FAA has issued Notices to Air Missions (NOTAMs) expanding the area in Eastern Europe and Russia where US airlines and US pilots cannot operate. Extended NOTAMs now cover the whole Ukrainian country, the whole Belarusian country and a western part of Russia.
“Prior to today’s restrictions, the FAA prohibited operations in an area of eastern Ukraine. These restrictions do not apply to military operations.
Travel tips for popular hotspots
Currently, the Foreign Office has not issued any advice to avoid travel to western parts of Europe, including Spain, France and Italy.
Irish citizens traveling to Poland should travel with a “high degree of caution”, with anyone currently in the country being urged by the Department “to register their details with the Embassy and monitor our social media channels for the latest updates”.
While the Department also advises against non-essential travel to Belarus.
A spokesperson said: “Visitors to Belarus should also be aware of the widespread military conflict between neighboring Russia and Ukraine, joint Belarusian/Russian military maneuvers in southern and western Belarus and Russian operations in Ukraine currently emanating from Belarus.We advise against all travel to the regions of Yelsk, Mazyr, Rechitsa, Luninets, Gomel, Asipovichy, Baranovichi and Brest.We also advise against all travel from Belarus to Ukraine.
“Due to the aforementioned conflict in neighboring Ukraine, flights to and from Minsk are now very limited. Irish citizens wishing to enter or exit Belarus must do so via land borders with Poland, Latvia or Belarus. Lithuania. However, visas to allow entry into Belarus must be requested in advance.”