Irish Ferries’ owner has criticised the continuation of travel restrictions throughout the peak summer season.

This has had “a material impact” on passenger carryings.

Irish Continental Group reported a fall in first half revenues by a third to €61.6 million as Covid-19 travel curbs hit passenger carryings.

The number of cars carried slumped by 65% year-on-year to 56,600 in the period to June 30, according to I.

Overall group revenue for the six months was down by 21.6% to €130.8 million.

The company said: “We have raised our concerns with the Irish government on the current policy of asking people from Britain who visit Ireland to self-isolate for two weeks, while allowing unrestricted transit via Northern Ireland.

“We believe this is clearly anomalous and puts the retention of the Common Travel Area between Ireland and Britain at risk.”

The company said: “The key challenge for ICG during the Covid-19 pandemic has been maintaining our shipping schedules which are critical to the supply chain on and off the Island of Ireland.

“These services have provided a vital lifeline service to our Island and beyond for food, pharmaceuticals, medical supplies and in more recent times a high level of e-commerce goods.

“In the absence of airline capacity, we have also offered a vital lifeline service for essential passenger travel, including returning medical and caring volunteers and technicians to fix vital equipment in our hospitals and care centres.

“We have also provided an ability for our citizens to repatriate, where they must do so, to deal with emergencies at home.”

ICG added: “The group is in a strong financial position to weather this Covid-19 storm.”