Millenium Bug information
It is possible that in some countries computer systems may be affected by the "millennium bug" and that essential services such as transport, telecommunications, financial, medical, police, electricity or water supply services may be disrupted or break down, at least temporarily. While it is impossible accurately to predict what will happen, the potential for disruption of travel plans should be recognised.
Irish citizens planning to be abroad in the first week or so of January 2000 should be aware of the possibility of disruption of the kind described below and should consider making contingency plans to cope with the difficulties that would ensue. They should also satisfy themselves in advance that their medical and travel insurance covers them for losses arising from any difficulties caused by the "millennium bug".
Following consultations with the Irish Travel Agents' Association, the Department of Foreign Affairs wishes to advise travellers of the potential for difficulty with regard to the following.
Air, sea and land transport
Bookings may be unconfirmed; scheduled services may be varied or cancelled; Customs and immigration formalities may be delayed. (Items to which ready access is necessary should not be left in luggage which is liable to be delayed.)
Systems may be disrupted or fail and it may not be possible for a while to contact relatives, business people or an Irish Embassy.
The possibility that credit cards, automatic teller machines or international banking transactions will not operate as usual should be taken into account. (It might therefore be prudent to have more cash available than would otherwise be the case.)
Medical and hospital services
These could be under pressure if the failure of other public services were to cause significant local problems. (It would be prudent to bring necessary medications from Ireland.)
Other public services
The disruption of electricity, gas, water and sewerage services could affect heating or air conditioning, for example, and in that way or otherwise affect people's health and welfare.
Irish Embassies and Consulates will continue to monitor the situations in their areas and will provide normal consular assistance to Irish citizens if required.
More specific travel advice about individual countries, including possible "millennium bug" disruption, and detailed information about the preparedness of particular countries regarding the "millennium bug" are obtainable from a number of websites which are accessible through that of the Department of Foreign Affairs - www.irlgov.ie/iveagh.