Almost half of the people arriving at Dublin Airport earlier this week were those returning from holiday destinations.
The Taoiseach Micheal Martin made the comments last night as he vowed to clamp down on the number of people travelling abroad for a break.
He told his Fianna Fáil Parliamentary Party colleagues last night that people will face tougher sanctions for travelling for holidays.
It comes as visa-free travel from 12 countries has been temporarily suspended.
It includes 11 South American destinations and South Africa and will remain until at least March 5th.