New figures from the Central Statistics Office show that while car traffic volumes have not yet reached pre-Covid-19 levels, the gap between the 2021 and 2019 figures is declining due to the gradual lifting of travel restrictions.

Car traffic volumes are now at 86% of June 2019 levels in the Dublin area and 90% of June 2019 levels in regional locations.

The CSO said the volume of cars in regional locations was 32% higher in the week beginning 28 June than it was in the same week of 2020. But car traffic volumes are still 10% lower than the same week of 2019, it added.

The CSO said that since the beginning of April, HGV traffic volumes in both regional and Dublin locations have been above 2020 levels.

The CSO also said today that Covid-19 continues to have a major impact on airport passenger numbers.

It noted that the number of passengers travelling through Dublin airport in May 2021 grew by 26% compared with the previous month.

But the number of passengers travelling through the main Irish airports - Dublin, Cork, Shannon, Knock and Kerry - in May this year is still 95.4% lower than the same month in 2019.

The CSO said the total number of passengers handled by those airports in the first five months of 2021 fell from 5,986,776 to 702,533 when compared with the same time in 2020.

Meanwhile, the number of people using public transport dropped dramatically since the start of the Covid-19 crisis but since the start of the year public transport journeys have been increasing gradually.

The latest data shows that for the week starting June 27, the total number of rail and bus journeys is 51.8% of those taken in early March 2020 pre-Covid-19.

The number of bus journeys outside of Dublin in the same week is 58.8% of pre-Covid-19 levels, while the corresponding level for bus journeys within Dublin is 51.3% of pre-pandemic levels.

Rail was the mode of transport that was most severely hit since the onset of the crisis and the CSO said that for the latest week under consideration the number of journeys by rail was still 52.8% lower than pre-Covid-19 levels.